Saturday, October 31, 2015

Trust or Fade: Sunday Injury Expectations

There's a long list of players who are dealing with minor injuries or in the later stages of recovery from injuries that have recently limited them. The vast majority are listed probable and should be near full strength this week. The list includes Marshawn Lynch, Odell Beckham, Adrian Peterson, Randall Cobb, Jeremy Maclin, Emmanuel Sanders, Chris Ivory, and Steve Smith. Though an in-game aggravation can never be entirely ruled out, all of the above players can be expected to see their usual workload today.

Though none have been ruled out, I expect Antonio Gates, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and Vincent Jackson to be inactive today.

DEZ BRYANT | 8000 | Foot | Questionable
Cash: FADE

Bryant will return to action today, but there are two big reasons not to roster him. First, he's told us he's willing to play before he's fully recovered and it's very unlikely one week of limited practices has him in football condition. It's very likely his snap count will be limited in some fashion. Second, Matt Cassel <<<<< Tony Romo. Bryant will be more target than decoy today, but it's difficult to bet on him making good on his limited opportunity.

BEN ROETHLISBERGER | 6700 | Knee | Probable

Roethlisberger will also return today. I'm more optimistic about his prospects than Bryant. Roethlisberger has taken two weeks to recondition and grow comfortable with the brace he'll wear today. While there will likely be some rust and inaccuracy early as he transitions back to game speed, I think the Steelers will fully open the playbook for Roethlisberger today.

JOHN BROWN | 5800 | Hamstring | Questionable
Cash: FADE

Though Bruce Arians bristled at a suggestion the Cardinals might hold a close-but-not-quite-ready Brown out with a bye week next week, I still think Brown is slightly to the doubtful side of questionable today. With two hamstring strains and a tough turnaround to an early afternoon East Coast game after last week's Monday night game, returning to strength is a tough ask for Brown today. You might consider Brown in GPPs if active, as he's played effectively through strain(s) for two consecutive weeks. But Arians' early week tone suggests there's more risk here today than in Week 6 or 7.

ERIC DECKER | 5300 | Knee | Questionable

I'm not confident in a projection for Decker today. His comments suggest the injury is bothering him more now than it did last week, but Decker has played effectively through pain in the past. I won't stand on the table to talk you out of using him today, especially with the favorable matchup, but I have some concerns about his floor.

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

Exposed Week 8

With the help of our defensive guru Aaron Rudnicki, we take a look at matchups between wide receivers and tight ends and how defenses will deploy to stop them. We look at some cheaper options that will allow you to load up your roster elsewhere, and some pricier ones that we think you should pay for. We also look at a few wide receivers and tight ends that we don't like this week.
You can read Exposed here.

The Fade: DraftKings Week 8 

The Fade returns for Week 8 to help you identify some candidates to consider fading for this week's tournaments over on DraftKings. Each week, we have several chalk plays that look too good to pass up and end up being among the highest-owned players for the week. Last week, Devonta Freeman and Todd Gurley looked to be stellar picks at the running back position. This fact was not lost on many and they were highly owned in last week's Millionaire Maker - Freeman at 44.7% and Gurley at 67.1%. Coincidentally, both players are at the top of the charts heading into this week as well. Is this the week to fade one or both? What would have been the optimal move for last week and how can we apply that going forward? You can check out this week's article here to find out the answers and to fine some more candidates for the fade list for Week 8.        

Some quick goal line observations for Week 8's prospects

Touchdowns are the key to DFS success, particularly in GPPs. Every week or two, I like to look at recent goal line trends - who's getting the call near the end zone and who's not. We need our touchdowns to be real, of course, and not moral victories. But the near-misses can tell us a lot about usage trends and what we can expect going forward. Two situations stand out this week that suggest reliable touchdown opportunity for Week 8, resulting in two more guys I'm especially interested in.

Khiry Robinson's touchdown vulturing has been surprising. Mark Ingram has had a so-so 2015 thus far, but he's really been making hay at the goal line. Dating back to Week 3, Ingram has been given three carries from inside the 3-yard line - only five backs have seen more - and he's converted all three into touchdowns. (That's a nice turnaround for him; from 2013-14, Ingram scored on just 7 of 19 rushes from inside the 3.) Robinson's had some success of his own, scoring on three of his four short rushes, but Ingram is the well-paid incumbent here. Assuming he reclaims the short-yardage role for (mostly) himself, Ingram is as strong a weekly TD bet as just about anyone. My numbers consider him all but a sure bet to score against the Giants, who have been gashed by back-to-back running games that both found the end zone.

While we're discussing this, let's talk for a moment about Cam Newton. Go ahead and fret over his erratic passing and lack of downfield weaponry, but take a minute to note and appreciate his ground game. It's no coincidence that he's four of five games, considering how often he gets/takes the call inside the 5. That's enormous for our purposes; if we can comfortably project 0.5 to 1 rushing TDs for a quarterback, his value goes through the roof. A boost of 3-6 points to a QB's projection - plus another 3-5 for rushing yardage - can turn a disappointing 12-point passing expectation into a fully cashable 20+. Newton needs just 20.4 to return cash-game value.

Chris Johnson: Buyer Beware

In my weekly column, Projecting Ownership Percentage, I made the case for using Chris Johnson in GPPs despite a moderately high ownership projection. Here was my thinking:

  • Johnson looks completely rejuvenated this season.
  • Since Week 2 (his first game as a starter), only Devonta Freeman has totaled more than Johnson's 530 rushing yards.
  • Johnson is due for positive touchdown regression. He only has three rushing touchdowns despite seeing the fourth-most attempts from inside the opponent's 10-yard line since Week 2.
  • No team has surrendered more fantasy points and rushing yards per game to running backs than Johnson's opponent this week, the Cleveland Browns.
  • The game script is favorable for running back production. Arizona is a 4.5 point favorite with a solid 25.25 point implied team total. 
  • Johnson is the cumulative RB8 since Week 2 per DraftKings scoring, yet he's still priced as the RB19. There's profit baked into his affordable $4,600 price tag.
So what's up with the title of this post?

On Friday, Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians revealed there will be "more in the game plan" for Andre Ellington this week. That report was followed up by this quote from Arizona's offensive coordinator, Charles Goodwin:
"I think BA (head coach Bruce Arians) has stuff for (Ellington) and he didn't get to it, but I'm sure he'll get to it this week. As you saw (Monday night), there was a series where I think he was pretty much in there the whole series because he (Arians) wanted to get him going. He's got fresh legs, obviously."
With most teams, I'd write this off as coach speak, but not with the Cardinals. Bruce Arians is the Jim Carrey character from Liar, Liar when it comes to addressing the media, specifically as it relates to Ellington. When he told us the offense would run through Ellington in 2014, most analysts laughed -- until Ellington averaged over 20 touches per game before inevitably breaking down. And coming into this season, when Arians told us Ellington's role wouldn't change despite the acquisitions of both Johnson and rookie running back David Johnson, very few people believed him. But in Week 1, there was Ellington dominating the Cardinals' running back snaps (and looking really good) before spraining his PCL in the second half.

As an unabashed Ellington supporter, maybe the stock I'm putting into the news cycle is slanted by confirmation bias, but Arians' affection for Ellington is undeniable, and it's entirely possible Arizona has been limiting his touches in an effort to get him completely healthy for the stretch run. Not to mention, Ellington has been awesome on his limited opportunities this season -- he's averaging 7.6 yards per carry and 13.7 yards per catch.

I'm now approaching this week as though we'll see a close-to-even split of backfield snaps between Ellington and Chris Johnson, which means Johnson is no longer safe for cash games. I would rather Danny Woodhead at $4,500 or Jonathan Stewart in a great match-up with the Colts at $4,100 if I'm looking to save at running back. And in GPPs, the better play may actually be Ellington. He'll unquestionably be lower owned, and if he does see a significant uptick in playing time, the match-up with Cleveland should unlock his big-play ability.The Browns have let up the second-most rushing plays of 10 yards or more in the league.

Cost Efficiency Report: Week 8

Devonta Freeman or Le'Veon Bell? Brandon Marshall or Eric Decker? Nate Washington or Ted Ginn, Jr.? Be sure not to miss out on the Week 8 Cost Efficiency Report to identify and reap all of the bang your $50,000 DraftKings bucks offer you.

While you're at, cross-reference my Week 8 lineup choices with the rest of our sensational DraftKings coverage. There's Maurile Tremblay's Interactive Value Chart for optimizing your lineups, our weekly ownership projection report from Phil Alexander that identifies the guys likely to be higher- or lower-owned, and the staff-run Weekly Roundtable that gathers all of our Week 8 opinions on a variety of topics.

Projecting Ownership Percentage: Week 8

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." - John Lee

And the player insight:

Kamar Aiken - $4,200 vs. SD (Less than 5% Projected Ownership)
Aiken’s days of fantasy relevance are seemingly over now that Steve Smith and Crockett Gilmore have returned to Baltimore’s lineup. Last week, Joe Flacco threw the ball 40 times and Aiken only saw three targets. As a result, Aiken is certain to be less than 2% owned (and deservedly so), but he could be a sneaky play against San Diego. Last week, Aiken was on the field for 80% of Baltimore’s offensive snaps -- the most of any Ravens wide receiver -- so it’s clear playing time is not the issue. This week, Aiken figures to run the majority of his routes against Chargers cornerback Brandon Flowers. Aiken has five inches and 28 pounds on Flowers, who has let up the most fantasy points per route defended this season according to Pro Football Focus. This recommendation is admittedly a high-risk dart throw, but if Flacco spots the mismatch, Aiken has a 20+ point ceiling in a game with the highest over/under on the slate (50.5 points).

Friday, October 30, 2015

Week 8 NFL Starting Stacks

Trying to decide which stacks will be popular this week in NFL? In our DraftKings Week 8 Starting Stacks article we review some of the expected popular "chalk" stacks and some "under the radar" stacks.

Week 8 Starting Stacks

Saturday Sleepers and GPP Plays: Week 9 

Time to get ready for another Saturday of wall-to-wall College Football and DFS action on DraftKings. We have two main slates to look into with 26 games in total. That's a lot of ground to cover, but relax - Saturday Sleepers and GPP Plays has you covered. We break down both main slates by looking at the games to key in on and some players to keep on your radar. You can check out the article here and be sure to visit Footballguys for all the College Football info and tools you need to build some winning lineups.  

Footballguys Roundtable on DraftKings Sunday Lineups

Looking for help in constructing your Sunday DraftKings lineups? The staff of sat down this week to discuss different topics about who to start on Sunday and why.

Here's a sample of some of the questions that were discussed in our DraftKings Roundtable.


As you know, DraftKings offers a three-point bonus for 100-yard rushing and receiving performances. Rank the following WRs in order of their likelihood to reach 100 receiving yards:
Phil Alexander: Here is how I would rank those five:
  1. Antonio Brown: Brown is tied with Hopkins for most 100 yard games this season. The Bengals defense can be exploited – especially by WR1s. However, if Ben Roethlisberger sits again, I'd drop Brown all the way to fifth on this list.
  2. DeAndre Hopkins: He is averaging 14% more targets per game than the next closest wide receiver. Titans cornerbacks are banged up and not very good to begin with.
  3. Julio Jones: Jones looks healthy again. Coming into last week, Football Outsiders ranked Tampa Bay dead last at defending opposing WR1s.
  4. Odell Beckham JrT.Y. Hilton showed last week how easy it can be to get behind the Saints defensive backs. His lingering hamstring injury is the only concern.
  5. Larry Fitzgerald: Fitzgerald should once again approach double digit targets, but Carson Palmer has been spreading around the production recently.
OK then, guys, which receiver(s) not listed do you think has the best chance to reach 100 yards?
VanderWoude: Mike Evans looks completely healthy and is starting to click with rookie Jameis Winston. The Falcons have had trouble containing number one receivers (Jordan Mathews 10/102, Odell Beckham Jr 7/146, DeAndre Hopkins 9/157), and Evans presents a severe mismatch with his wide catch radius and ability to out leap defenders on jump balls. He's reached 100 yards in two of his first four games. 
Pasquino: Other wideouts I see with good chances of 100 or more yards are Steve SmithKeenan AllenA.J. Green, and Nate Washington.
Which tight end do you give the best chance to reach the century mark?
Alexander: At tight end, I like Greg Olsen to go over 100 yards for the third time this season. The Colts have allowed the seventh-most receiving yards to opposing tight ends this season, and they've let up more receptions of 20+ yards than any team in the NFL.


It's looking like Ben Roethlisberger will return this week. How will the Pittsburgh offense respond? On one hand, their star quarterback returns. On the other hand, they have a divisional game against a difficult opponent in Cincinnati.
Dan Hindery: In regards to their middling statistics, the Bengals have been jumping out to big first-half leads pretty consistently. Thus, the overall defensive numbers are a bit misleading. The Bengals have given up quite a bit of “garbage time” yardage that does not reflect how strong the defense has been when it mattered. For example, the Bengals have only given up two first-half touchdowns the entire season.


Darren McFadden looked like a fully healthy, younger version of himself on Sunday. Coach Jason Garrett has said that McFadden has earned more playing time.
With Joseph Randle potentially still nursing his injury and Christine Michael still not getting a real chance, would you take a chance on McFadden at his low price ($3,800) despite a tough matchup vs. Seattle?
Jeff Pasquino: Last week, I correctly predicted that the Cowboys would try and run the ball on the Giants (pats myself on the back) to protect Matt Cassel and also rely on their strength in their offensive line. Seattle is in the top 10 in yards per game against for their rushing defense, far better than the 21st-ranked Giants defense. Seattle is going to stack the box and force Cassel to beat them, and I doubt that he will. As Phil and Scott have accurately pointed out, McFadden is an okay cash game option, but his ceiling is too low against the Seahawks for tournament consideration.


Week 7 was littered with garbage time production. Houston, Indianapolis, and San Diego were all teams who were losing and put up big stats against soft defenses. While most fantasy analysts will say that we shouldn't rely on garbage time, sometimes it can be predicted by looking at possible game scripts.
Which Week 8 game (or games) do you see as potential blowouts where the losing team can still produce valuable fantasy numbers?
Dan Hindery: Predicting the blowouts can be pretty tough. Indianapolis and San Diego were both healthy home favorites but surprisingly fell behind by 20+ points early in their games. Houston vs. Miami was not supposed to be a lopsided game either.
However, I do think we’ve seen in recent years where certain teams (and specific players) have regularly fallen behind and then been able to put up big numbers in comeback attempts. A few years back, Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford put up career seasons and some monster games when their porous defense put them in big holes early. Last year, Kelvin Benjamin was a regular beneficiary of garbage time touchdown catches.

To view the full article and all of the great footballguys staff discussion on these topics, check out this week's Footballguys Sunday Roundtable for DraftKings.

Week 8 Punt Plays

Every week John Lee and I (Jeff Pasquino) discuss our punt plays for DraftKings on The Audible to close out our weekly DFS DraftKings podcast.  These are players that we are looking at to fill in a last spot on our lineups that are relatively cheap.  We have all been there - we have only a few bucks left and 1-2 spots to go in our roster, and we need a good value play to fill in that gap.  The rules we play by are that the player must not cost more than $3,500.

So who made my short list for this week?  Well, I can only use one on the show - and I am not going to steal the thunder from our three picks that make the airwaves - but I will share a few guys that did not make it for the final cut.  Some of them look pretty solid this week, so give them a read and tell me what you think, either in the comments or on twitter (@JeffPasquino).  Here goes:

Ladarius Green, TE, Chargers ($3,000) - It hardly seems fair to take Green as a punt play this week with so many San Diego receivers out and against a bad Baltimore secondary, but someone has to shoot those fish in the barrel, right?  He is not the only tight end to target this week though - so listen to The Audible for more!

Ted Ginn, WR,  Panthers ($3,400) - Quick - who is the top wide receiver in Carolina these days?  No fair, you just read his name.  Teddy Ginn Jr. has 18 catches, 283 yards and three touchdowns for the 6-0 Panthers as he is back and better than ever in Panther blue.  Ginn faces an Indianapolis secondary on Monday Night Football that just gave up 27 points to the Saints and I think that they will try and stop TE Greg Olsen first, leaving Ginn open for a few end zone chances.

Charles Sims, RB, Buccaneers ($3,600) - Wait, you are cheating at $3,600 by $100, right?  Well, that's the podcast rules, and more importantly, you need to read up on Sims.  There is a ton of value this week so get the right punts in your lineup.  This "Cecil Lammey Special" targets a back that will catch a lot of balls out of the backfield for Jameis Winston this week for a Tampa team lacking in targetable receivers for Week 8.

Donteea Dye, WR, Buccaneers ($3,000) - Who?  The best wide receiver ever to come out of Heidelburg University, that's who!  The Division III standout caught one pass for a touchdown last week and he is likely to start in place of Vincent Jackson this week, so grab him and hope for the best.  He's a dark horse for sure, but if he can get another touchdown, you are sitting on a gold mine here as not many people will have him, I can guarantee that!

Thanks for reading as always, and be sure to check out The DraftKings' Audible episode every week, and subscribe to The Audible on iTunes.  Good luck this week!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

CFB Recap Week 8: SEC Conference 

Another full Saturday of College Football and DFS action is straight ahead and as always, Footballguys has you covered with all the tools and info you need to build some winning lineups. One great way to get ahead of the curve is by taking a look back at the week that was and getting a good handle on how each team is shaping up for DFS purposes. That's where our Conference Recaps come in handy. We go game by game for each of the major conferences and look at the players that are emerging and those that are taking a step backwards. You can check out this week's recap of the SEC Conference here and all of our other CFB content and tools here.  

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Early WR Values for Week 8

On my first glance at the week's wide receiver pricing, I see some major volume/dynamism values in the third and fourth cost tiers. A few I've noticed:
  • Brandon Marshall is thoroughly affordable at a $7,600 salary against the Raiders' burnable secondary. He should absolutely be priced higher.
  • His teammate, Eric Decker, has scored in four of his five games, and led the team in catches and yards in the fifth. He's just $5,300.
  • I'm not sure what Stefon Diggs has to do to fetch a $5K salary, but I'm jumping all over him at $4,800 against the Chicago "secondary."
  • Anquan Boldin costs just $4,400 despite the 49ers' top market share and seeing a ton of red zone usage.

There'll be plenty more value observations over the course of our weekly DraftKings coverage, so keep on your screen all the way to lineup locks.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Last-Minute Overlay Check-in

I'm still seeing a few tantalizing overlays in the contest lobby:

The $6M Millionaire Maker, of course, is still firmly in play. It's short about 24K entries, a nice little overlay for a $20 stab at up to $1 million...

The $100K Play Action is overlaying as well, just 66% full with 20 minutes to go...

One of my favorite contests, the $9 NFL $10K Slant, is just 29% full at the moment.
The Contrarian: DraftKings Week 7 

Searching for some hidden gems that might set your lineup apart this week? Then check out this week's edition of The Contrarian. We go through each position to find some under the radar plays you can use to balance out your roster. For last week's Millionaire Maker, each lineup that finished in the Top 10 included at least two players with less than a 10% ownership percentage. A little bit of uniqueness can really help your chances of shooting up the leaderboards. You can check out the article here, enter your lineups here and get ready to enjoy another awesome week of games.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Trust or Fade: Sunday Injury Expectations

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 concerned with Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Allen Robinson, or Jordan Reed today. If Jeremy Maclin is cleared to play after last week's concussion, he will also be safe to roster. You can consider Brandon LaFell a contrarian play in ultra-deep GPPs, but I'd stay away from both LaFell and T.J. Yeldon in most situations today.

ANTONIO GATES | 5000 | Knee | Questionable
Cash: FADE

Gates has played through painful injuries effectively in the past, but MCL sprains involve more than pain. Instability is also an issue. Gates didn't sound very comfortable on Friday after missing practice all week. I think he's closer to doubtful. If he is active, expect to see him in high leverage third down and red zone situations only. If you're willing to use Gates despite the limitation if he's active, make sure you leave room to upgrade your flex spot by dropping down to Ladarius Green if Gates is inactive.

ADRIAN PETERSON | 7600 | Illness | Questionable

Local beat writers had no concerns with Peterson's downgrade on Saturday evening. Barring a surprise in the hours leading up to the game on Sunday morning, neither should you.

ODELL BECKHAM | 8700 | Hamstring | Questionable

Beckham may not be fully recovered, but he did not look limited last Monday night. He participated in a limited Friday practice, which was more than he was able to do at any point last week. He's safe to roster today.

DION LEWIS | 6500 | Abdomen | Questionable

There were positive reports leading into last week's Sunday night game. By Monday morning, those same observers openly wondered whether the abdomen injury was more limiting than had been expected. No one has been willing to speculate on Lewis' health this week and the injury report has been of little help. I'd consider Lewis only if you're confident the game script will play out in his favor.

800 AM: Ian Rapoport tweeted Lewis is unlikely to play today. Once a New England beat writer, Rapoport is plugged in here.

KEENAN ALLEN | 7700 | Hip | Questionable

Allen was confident in the locker room on Friday despite not finishing last week's game and barely practicing this week. It was a reassuring interview, but there are no guarantees Allen can get through this week's game without limitation. His floor is lower than his price would suggest.

JOHN BROWN | 5500 | Hamstring | Questionable
Cash: FADE

Yes, Brown was limited in practice last week and still caught ten passes for nearly 200 yards. But tightness in the hamstring again this week, along with a Saturday report that the other hamstring was also bothering Brown, should have you more worried this week. Brown was optimistic in a radio interview and Bruce Arians told reporters he expected Brown to play if he looked good in warmups. Consider putting another Monday night player in your flex spot if you choose to roster Brown. Pivoting to Floyd leaves an extra 2300 in salary to use.

Hope variance shines on you today in your DraftKings contests. Footballguys Insiders can read my full breakdown of today's injury expectations.
The Fade: DraftKings Week 7 

The Fade is back for Week 7 to help you find some players that you might want to take a pass on this week. Some of these players may be among the highest-owned players for the week. Choosing the right few to take a pass on and replacing them with some lower-owned players with similar or better upside can pay some nice dividends and help you shoot up the leaderboard. You can check out this week's article here and see if there are some players you might want to include on your fade list for this week.

Tips and Picks, Week 7 Edition

Each and every week, I spend countless hours studying game film, analyzing key metrics and analytics, and contrasting what I find against the salaries for every player on DraftKings. I then employ game strategy-based decisions to select out key players at various price points for both GPP's and cash games to incorporate into a 5,000+ word document; that document is my weekly article entitled, "Tipandpick's Tips and Picks." It can be a long read, but that is the point--the devil is in the details to become a winning DFS player. Here is an excerpt from this week's edition:

Projecting Ownership Percentage: Week 7

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." - John Lee

And the player insight:

Adrian Peterson - $7,600 @ DET (6%-10% Projected Ownership)
Peterson was over 17% owned in last week’s Millionaire Maker and disappointed to the tune of 6.7 fantasy points. Recency bias should present us with an opportunity to roster Peterson below his usual ownership rate in a great match-up with Detroit. When these teams met back in Week 2, Peterson totaled 192 yards from scrimmage on 31 touches in a convincing Vikings win. Minnesota is favored on the road this week and expected to score a solid 23.5 points. A league-leading 60% of the Vikings touchdowns have come via the run this season, which doesn’t bode well for Detroit. The Lions have allowed the second-most touchdowns to opposing running backs this season, and the most plays from inside their own 10-yard-line. Peterson has the highest touchdown potential of any running back on this week’s slate, making him an excellent GPP play.

Medical Check

This week there are some key injuries to watch including to Antonio Gates, John Brown, and Jordan Reed. Should you be plugging these guys into your lineups or are their some great pivots due to these injuries? Find out here
Saturday Sleepers and GPP Plays: Week 8 

Another Saturday of wall-to-wall College Football complemented by a lobby full of games over at DraftKings is upon us. Saturday Sleepers and GPP Plays for Week 8 has you covered with a full breakdown of both main slates. We have 17 games on the early slate which kicks off at 12pm and 9 games for the late slate which begins at 7pm. Which games should we key in on? What matchups look particularly appealing? Find out here, get your lineups in on time here and enjoy another awesome Saturday.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Starting Stacks Week 7

Having trouble deciding on who to stack in your DraftKings GPP tournaments this Sunday? Our Starting Stacks Article will provide some "chalk" plays and some "under the radar" plays. You can read the article here:

DraftKings Starting Stacks

Exposed Week 7

With the help of our defensive guru Aaron Rudnicki, we take a look at matchups between wide receivers and tight ends and how defenses will deploy to stop them. We look at some cheaper options that will allow you to load up your roster elsewhere, and some pricier ones that we think you should pay for. We also look at a few wide receivers and tight ends that we don't like this week.
You can read Exposed here.

The Week 7 Cost Efficiency Report

The Cost Efficiency Report for Week 7 is here and live! Which overachieving quarterbacks are likely to keep their up-trends rolling along? Has Devonta Freeman become just as strong a top-salaried value as Le'Veon Bell and Adrian Peterson? Which bottom-salaried wideouts have the best outlooks to reach those magical multipliers for DFS value? You'll find those answers amidst gobs and gobs more value and efficiency reports for Week 7 right here.

Week 7 DraftKings Roundtable

This week's discussion focused on emerging talents, matchups, and punt plays that will have DraftKings players shoehorn multiple "studs" into their lineups. We even shifted gears mid-topic at one point, which ended up resulting in a "bonus" topic of sorts.

Some excerpts are below, and the full article is here.

Hopkins on Fire
This topic discussed whether DeAndre Hopkins should be an "auto-play" this week.

John Lee: I did a quick evaluation of value based on projected receptions/game (targets/game x reception percentage) divided by salary, and Hopkins scored a 1.01 on that undefined scale by my methodology. There were four wide receivers above or equal to him for Week 7, including Steve Smith (1.16), Keenan Allen (1.14), Pierre Garcon (1.07), Golden Tate (1.02), and Jeremy Maclin (1.01). Smith should see a heavy dose of Patrick Peterson in coverage (pass), Allen is nursing a hip injury (hold), Garcon is attractive against Tampa Bay's 29th-ranked pass coverage unit (buy), Tate gets an underrated Vikings' passing defense (pass), and Maclin is on the league's concussion protocol (hold). With that in mind, only Pierre Garcon presents the kind of volume-based value that Hopkins brings to the table once again this week, which means that I will be looking for cheap, value-based plays (in addition to Garcon) to try to squeeze Hopkins' $8,600 salary into my cash games this weekend.
Gurley Automatic?
Here, we discussed how poor Cleveland's run defense is and how Todd Gurley's price this week is remarkably low considering his skill, opportunity, and matchup.

Phil Alexander: Phil Alexander: You might not find a better point per dollar value in DFS this year than Gurley at $5,000 vs. the Browns. Gurley ranked as the cumulative RB7 on DraftKings in Weeks 4 and 5 (his only two weeks as a starter), yet he's currently priced as the RB14. Cleveland's struggles defending running backs are well documented, and Gurley will be coming out of the bye well rested and white hot. He's posted at least 159 yards from scrimmage in each of his last two games. Both performances came on the road against strong defenses, and his explosion at Green Bay was especially impressive because St. Louis fell behind by two touchdowns in the first quarter. Negative game script hasn't been a problem for Gurley, but it helps that the table is set nicely for him this week. The Rams are playing at home, favored by 4.5 points, and projected to score a not-too-shabby 23.25 points. Cash game value (15 fantasy points) looks like Gurley's floor in this match-up.
Kansas City vs Wide Receivers
The Chiefs have been miserable at defending opposing wideouts this season, so I asked the guys if they were willing to let Antonio Brown back into the circle of trust.

John Mamula: While it currently looks like Landry Jones will be the starting quarterback this week, I think there is a decent chance Ben Roethlisberger will surprise many and be named the starter on Sunday morning. Reports stated that Roethlisberger looked good in practice on Wednesday. Pittsburgh needs to keep winning to keep momentum heading into the Bengals matchup next week. Mobility may be an issue for Roethlisberger, but he has played through injuries in the past and is as tough as they come at quarterback. Regardless who starts at quarterback, I am off Antonio Brown in cash games.
With everyone being unanimous that they wouldn't play Brown this week, I shifted gears and asked a "bonus" question about which cheap wide receiver was the best option between Martavis Bryant, Michael Floyd, or Willie Snead.

Chris Feery: In order, I would take Snead, Bryant, and then Floyd. As Justin said, Snead is the most reliable target on the Saints. The game script tells us we're looking at a close, high-scoring game. Snead is a great way to get a piece of it at an affordable price. Bryant gets the nod over Floyd on the outside chance that this past Sunday's performance was indicative of chemistry with Landry Jones. As for Floyd, $3,200 is a very intriguing price and his eight targets from last week is a situation worth keeping an eye on.
Punt Plays
Here, I asked the gang about some of the lower-priced players who could provide room for high-end players while also providing punch to the lineup.

Justin Howe: I could get on board with some [Ted] Ginn ownership. Olsen remains top dog by a mile, but he's also been swallowed whole by a few defenses thus far; teams want Cam Newton to beat them with downfield passing. Ginn is the only guy with any shred of certainty among those wideouts, and Newton trusts him; no one since Chad Henne in 2009 has leaned more on Ginn as a receiver. Top Eagles cornerback Byron Maxwell has come around a bit over the last few weeks, but as Phil points out, all it would take for Ginn to reach 4x value would be a line around 4-56-1. A few token catches and one long connection with Newton, and he's in the money.
Enjoy the full article. It was a great week of discussion! 

CFB Team Totals for the Saturday Early Slate on DraftKings

Team  Spread Game Total Team Total Opponent Run  Pass
Baylor -37 80 58.5 Iowa State 5 5
Oklahoma -14.5 73.5 44 Texas Tech 5 4
Michigan St -16.5 63.5 40 Indiana 4 4
Arizona -7.5 72 39.75 Wash State 5 3
Houston -21.5 57 39.25 Central FL 4 4
N Carolina -17.5 61 39.25 Virginia 4 3
Toledo -14 62.5 38.25 U Mass 4 3
Bowling Green -14 59 36.5 Kent St 4 2
Alabama -15.5 54 34.75 Tennessee 4 3
Wash State 7.5 72 32.25 Arizona 2 5
Clemson -6.5 56 31.25 Miami (FL) 3 4
Nebraska -7.5 51.5 29.5 Northwestern 3 3
Texas Tech 14.5 73.5 29.5 Oklahoma 2 4
Texas -6.5 50.5 28.5 Kansas State 3 2
Arkansas -5.5 51 28.25 Auburn 4 2
Pitt -7 49 28 Syracuse 3 2
Penn State -6.5 47 26.75 Maryland 3 2
Wisconsin -6.5 46 26.25 Illinois 3 2
Miami (FL) 6.5 56 24.75 Clemson 3 2
U Mass 14 62.5 24.25 Toledo 1 4
Indiana 16.5 63.5 23.5 Michigan St 2 3
VA Tech -2.5 43.5 23 Duke 2 2
Auburn 5.5 51 22.75 Arkansas 3 1
Kent St 14 59 22.5 Bowling Green 2 2
Northwestern 7.5 51.5 22 Nebraska 2 1
Kansas State 6.5 50.5 22 Texas 2 1
Virginia 17.5 61 21.75 N Carolina 1 2
Iowa State 37 80 21.5 Baylor 2 2
Syracuse 7 49 21 Pitt 1 1
Duke 2.5 43.5 20.5 VA Tech 2 1
Maryland 6.5 47 20.25 Penn State 1 1
Illinois 6.5 46 19.75 Wisconsin 1 2
Tennessee 15.5 54 19.25 Alabama 2 1
Central FL 21.5 57 17.75 Houston 1 1


Baylor Run and Pass- Baylor is leading the nation with both 7.1 yards per rush and 12.2 yards per attempt. Iowa State's defense ranks in the bottom half nationally against both the run and the pass. With a team total of 58.5, Baylor should approach season averages of 336 rushing yards and 371 passing yards. The key to whether Baylor's offensive stars are a great play or merely a good play will be whether Iowa State's offense can do enough to force Baylor to play it's starters into the fourth quarter. 
Oklahoma State Pass- The Cowboys are averaging 308 passing yards per game and face a horrible Kansas defense allowing 311 passing yards per game. Oklahoma State could pass for 400+ yards if motivated to do so or if Kansas' offense is able to keep the game competitive into the second half. Neither of those things are guaranteed, so there is some risk in investing too heavily in the Cowboys passing offense. But also real upside as this is a major mismatch on paper and the team total points to a big day for the Oklahoma State offense.
Oklahoma Pass- The Sooners have been incredibly efficient throwing the ball (9.7 yards per attempt) and have averaged 330 passing yards per game. Tech is giving up 285 passing yards per game and a healthy 8.1 per attempt. Expect Oklahoma to pick up big chunks of yardage through the air and to exceed their season average with 350+ passing yards. Baker Mayfield and Sterling Sharpe are very nice options Saturday.
Washington State Pass- The Cougars are underdogs after a pair of impressive victories. Washington State is the most pass-heavy team in the nation (73% pass and 57 passing attempts per game) and is averaging 417 passing yards per game. Arizona is vulnerable against the pass (allowing 7 yards per attempt) and the game script points to the Cougars having to be aggressive through the air. Luke Falk, Dom Williams, and Gabe Marks should have big games. 
Arizona Run- The Wildcats rank 8th nationally with 5.8 yards per rush and are also 8th nationally with 266 rushing yards per game. Washington State is giving up a healthy 5.0 yards per rush and over 200 yards rushing per game. With a team total of ~40, expect Arizona to put up big numbers on the ground. 
Houston Run- The Cougars are 6th nationally with 282 rushing yards per game. With dual threat quarterback Greg Ward Jr. and tough back Kenneth Farrow, Houston presents matchup problems for all opposing rush defenses. UCF is a slightly below average rush defense and does not have the talent to take away both Ward and Farrow, so at least one of the two should have a big game on the ground on Saturday.
Toledo Run- The Rockets are averaging 205 rushing yards per game and face a horrible UMass defense that has allowed 231 rushing yards per game. As two touchdown favorites, the game script should be favorable for Toledo to rack up 250+ rushing yards with the duo of Kareem Hunt and Terry Swanson leading the way.


Bowling Green Pass- Bowling Green leads the nation with 432 passing yards per game. Kent State has a strong defense that should be able to hold the Falcons below their season averages, but BGSU's high-paced offense and deep, talented crew of pass catchers are always going to get theirs. Matt Johnson is always a top quarterback options as is Roger Lewis at wide receiver.
Oklahoma Run- Oklahoma's offense has been very balanced with a 53-47 run-to-pass ratio. However, the Sooners are averaging a surprisingly poor 3.8 yards per rush. Texas Tech hasn't stopped anyone and have given up 5.6 yards per rush and a ridiculous 255 rushing yards per game. If Oklahoma can build an early lead through the air as expected, they should have success with Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon on the ground if they try to slow it down a little and play keep away from the high-octane Red Raiders offense. With a huge 44 point team total, a few rushing touchdowns are likely as well.
Michigan State Run and Pass- Can the Spartans avoid a hangover after their stunning upset over Michigan? If they can, the offense should have a field day against a weak Indiana defense that just gave up 55 points to Rutgers last week. Michigan State would probably like to just pound the ball on the ground with LJ Scott; against an Indiana defense giving up 4.8 yards per rush, they should have some success doing just that. However, Indiana has shown that as underdogs they like to load the box and force teams to beat them through the air. The Spartans are averaging 8.3 yards per attempt and against an incredibly young Indiana secondary, Connor Cook and Aaron Burbridge should be able to do whatever they want. 
Alabama Run- Tennessee is just an average rushing defense. Alabama has been very successfull lately running the ball with Derrick Henry and rank in the top 30 nationally with 199 rushing yards per game. As more than two touchdown favorites, Alabama's offense could become especially run-heavy if they can build an early lead.
Arkansas Run- Auburn’s giving up a ridiculous 5.5 yards per carry and 205 rushing yards per game. Arkansas has ran the ball well this season with 4.8 yards per carry in a run-heavy offense (55% run ratio). Despite the lower team total, this is a sneaky good matchup and Alex Collins should have a big game.
North Carolina Run- The Tar Heels have been a force on the ground. UNC ranks 3rd nationally with 6.8 yards per rush. Virginia is giving up 4.8 yards per rushing attempt and are unlikely to slow dual-threat quarterback Marqise Williams and running backs Elijah Hood and  T.J. Logan. With so many likely focused upon the Greg Ward Jr., Seth Russell and some of the other big-name quarterbacks, Williams makes an especially intriguing GPP option.

Week 7 Punt Plays

Every week John Lee and I (Jeff Pasquino) discuss our punt plays for DraftKings on The Audible to close out our weekly DFS DraftKings podcast.  These are players that we are looking at to fill in a last spot on our lineups that are relatively cheap.  We have all been there - we have only a few bucks left and 1-2 spots to go in our roster, and we need a good value play to fill in that gap.  The rules we play by are that the player must not cost more than $3,500.

So who made my short list for this week?  Well, I can only use one on the show - and I am not going to steal the thunder from our three picks that make the airwaves - but I will share a few guys that did not make it for the final cut.  Some of them look pretty solid this week, so give them a read and tell me what you think, either in the comments or on twitter (@JeffPasquino).  Here goes:

Theo Riddick, RB, Lions ($3,400) - Today's winner of the Last Man Standing award goes to Theo Riddick, the lone healthy back for Detroit that isn't physically hurting or suffering from fumblitis.  Riddick could easily get 10 carries and 4+ catches this week against the Vikings.  If he gets 60 yards, that's 10 points right there and an easy cash (3x) value.  That's his floor, folks.  A tournament upside is just one scoring play away.

Albert Wilson, WR, Chiefs ($3,000) - Wilson scored last week for Kansas City, which certainly improves his value (and makes him something of a unicorn for Kansas City, who never seem to be able to get a wide receiver to the end zone).  Now that Jeremy Maclin is recovering from a concussion, Wilson could see the most targets of any Chief wide receiver this week.

Darren McFadden, RB, Cowboys ($3,100) and Chrstine Michael, RB, Cowboys ($3,000) - Dallas is already talking about giving Michael more chances, and McFadden saw a ton of targets in Week 4 before the bye.  I expect Dallas to run a ton against the Giants, using the strength of the Cowboys with their offensive line to establish themselves early and get back towards the top of the woeful NFC East.  Both players should see enough touches to get 9-10 points quite easily, and a touchdown makes them hit tournament value with ease.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Interview with DraftKings $50,000 Winner Josh Fey

Ever wonder what it's like to bring home $50,000 playing DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football? Well this week I interviewed subscriber Josh Fey and he shared some insight on what it as like. Josh finished second last week in DraftKings $1.5M Play Action GPP, landing him a $50,000 payday! Congrats Josh!

Here are some snippets from the interview. You can find the full article on

FBG: Describe what it was like for that final five minutes. How did you feel as the clock ticked down to zero?
JF: Miserable - and awesome at the same time.  I finished 2nd to a guy that had the D/ST playing on Monday Night.  So I still had a chance to take 1st if the opposing team (Giants) scored a TD.  But there were also people creeping up as Philadelphia was running out the clock with Demarco Murray - who hit the 100 yard bonus in the final drive.  Not having any people going in the last game of the week left me feeling awfully helpless.  The last few plays were victory-formation - QB kneels, so I could relax for about the last 60 seconds.
FBG: DraftKings allows you to change your lineup any time before the game starts. Did you change or consider changing any players at the last minute? What were your thoughts behind why you did or did not do it?
JF: My last player played Sunday night - LeGarrette Blount.  I did consider switching him out, but he was a really cheap RB option (4400) so wasn't left with many choices that I thought had the upside that Blount had.  I felt pretty good about Blount given his history against the Colts and figured the game script would be good for him and ownership would be pretty low (ended up just under 14%, which was higher than I expected)
FBG: How many DraftKings contests do you play each week? How many cash games (Double Up or 50/50) do you play compared with tournaments each week?  Is there a strategy that you use in choosing your contest and if so, would you describe it?
JF: I play from $60-$120 a week (at least so far).  I'd say 85% of those are large field 50/50s a Double Ups.  There are some weeks I can't put in as much research time or don't feel as comfortable with my cash lineups that will make me be on the lower end of my weekly wager. 
If you want to read the full interview, you need to be a subscriber. Click Here for the full article and info on how to join

Keep checking back for more great DraftKings content and more interviews with big DFS winners!

Good luck this weekend!