Gambling

Draft Kings Week 14 Report

The season is winding down, with just three weeks left. Week 13 brought us some key injuries, which means there will be some really nice value throughout fantasy football. This is the time of year when RB2 and WR3 really make an impact on their teams, so let’s dive in and try to win you some money this weekend.

QB:

Aaron Rodgers - $6,000 (LOCK): I believe that a coaching change is just what the doctor ordered, and I’m sure Rodgers isn’t complaining. In 12 games this season, Rodgers threw for over 300 yards just three times, along with three TDs just twice. I feel that he will break out this Sunday, as he’s facing a Falcons defense that gives up a 69 percent completion rate, a six percent touchdown rate, and 21 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs.

Marcus Mariota - $4,900 (VALUE): Since Week 9, Mariota has been averaging 20 Draft Kings points per game, and for someone that’s priced at $4,900, that’s a great value. I know that he’s facing the Jaguars, and they had a great game against the Colts last week. Let’s not forget that this is the same Jacksonville team that lost seven straight games prior to last week, giving up an average of 27 points per game. Taywan Taylor is healthy, giving Mariota another weapon alongside Corey Davis. I like Mariota to hit value in this spot.

Andrew Luck - $5,900 (FADE): I’m a believer in this Texans defense, and it’s not just because I work for Houston Preeminence. Luck had an absolute dud against the Jags last week and was sacked more times in that game than he had been in the seven weeks prior to that. The Colts are a road underdog, and that doesn’t bode well for Luck, especially as he’ll be facing a Texans defense that ranks sixth in total DVOA.

RB:

Christian McCaffrey - $9,300 (LOCK): His price tag might look a bit daunting, but he’s well worth it. He’s the third highest scoring fantasy running back, and he’s going up against a Browns defense that gives up 113 rushing yards, 52 receiving yards, and 20 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs. Even with Devin Funchess back from his neck injury, I expect McCaffrey to continue to see a heavy workload in the passing game.

Jaylen Samuels - $3,700 (VALUE): When the Steelers feature a running back, they really feature a running back. With James Conner already ruled out for Week 14, that means Samuels will get the call. The fifth round pick out of NC State has almost as many targets as he has rushing attempts. Granted, those rushing attempts have led to just 2.6 yards per attempt. The upside with Samuels outweighs everything, as he needs just 12 points to hit value, and he’ll be going up against a Raiders defense that has been shredded by RBs for an average of 126 yards per game.

Todd Gurley - $8,800 (FADE): DO NOT bench Todd Gurley in your season long leagues. I just don’t like his price in DK, facing a tough Bears defense in Chicago. Yes, Saquon Barkley rushed for over 100 yards last week, but the Bears haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher at home all season. In fact, the Bears haven’t given up more than 51 rushing yards to a single RB at home all year. I love Gurley, I do. But I’m looking elsewhere in DFS this week.

WR:

Julio Jones - $7,900 (LOCK): Julio burned me last week, but I’m going back to the well on this one. The Falcons are road underdogs against a Packers defense that allows 37 fantasy points per game to opposing WRs. Jones is averaging 22 Draft Kings points per game, which is fifth best among WRs. As underdogs, the Falcons will most likely be playing from behind, which means Matty Ice will be airing it out to his number one guy. With a 29 percent target share, and 14.7 aDOT, I expect Julio to have some big gains through the air.

Zay Jones - $4,200 (VALUE): Jones’ only competition for targets this year was Kelvin Benjamin, and the Bills released Benjamin today. That makes Jones the clear-cut number one option in Buffalo, and it couldn’t come at a better time. He’ll be matching up against the Jets’ Buster Skrine, who has been repeatedly embarrassed by opposing WRs this season. As Josh Allen continues to improve, so will Jones’ fantasy numbers.

Tyler Boyd - $6,100 (FADE): A.J. Green is done for the season, and that just means that more of the opposing defense’s attention will be put on Boyd. In the games that Green has missed this year, Boyd only topped 20 fantasy points once. That’s not what you want to see from a “number one” receiver. This week he gets a stout Chargers defense. I don’t see this going very well for Boyd.

TE:

Travis Kelce - $6,700 (LOCK): I don’t care about his price tag, you jam Kelce into your lineups no matter what. He’s only second to Zach Ertz in receptions and targets, first in yards per game and also in red zone targets. The Ravens defense has been good but not great against opposing TEs, allowing almost 15 fantasy points per game. The Chiefs are a home favorite, which is a great sign for Kelce’s scoring potential.

Jordan Thomas - $3,000 (VALUE): In Thomas’ last three games at home he has averaged 11 PPR points. Not too bad for a guy that just needs nine points to hit value. The Colts are surrendering 15 fantasy points per game to opposing TEs this year. Thomas has caught five of his six targets in the red zone this year, and four of those receptions have been for TDs.

N/A (FADE): I actually don’t have any TE fades this week. All of the top priced players ($5k and up) have really nice matchups.

All stats provided by Football Outsiders, 4for4, Pro Football Reference, and NFL Next Gen Stats

Week 13 NFL Picks

Jonathon Lee’s Picks:

Houston Texans @ Cleveland Browns OVER 47.5

Both of these teams have figured out how to score the football. Over the last four weeks, the Browns are averaging 25.5 points per game while the Texans are averaging 29.5. Baker Mayfield has the offense clicking, and despite the Texans’ defense improving every week, they will still allow points on the board. I am looking for a 30-24 final score.

LA Chargers +3.5 @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Something isn’t right with this Steelers team lately, coming off a loss to the Broncos and a dirty game against the Jaguars that was way too close. On the other side, the Chargers are freshly rested off a 45-10 beat down over the Arizona Cardinals last week. I think the 3.5 number is a little high because of the Chargers not having Melvin Gordon in the lineup, but Austin Ekeler should fit right in. The Steelers might win this ball game, but the Chargers keep it close.

Chicago Bears @ New York Giants UNDER 44.5

As of Thursday, Nov. 30, Mitchell Trubisky is ruled doubtful for this week’s contest in New York. Chase Daniel is a solid backup to have, but their main agenda will be to grind out a tough win through defense and the run game. Last week, the Giants went 1/3 in the Red Zone and as long as they continue kicking field goals instead of extra points, the under will be the play.

Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins -3.5

Last week, the Dolphins put up a good fight against a hot Indianapolis Colts team and almost walked away with the victory after being up 24-14 in the 4th quarter. Ryan Tannehill returned from injury and went 17 of 25 for 204 yards and two touchdowns. They are a different team with Tannehill throwing the ball instead of Osweiler. The Bills are coming off a two-game win streak, but it ends this week.

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars OVER 47.5

The Jaguars are banged up on defense and haven’t allowed less than 20 points to their opponent since week 3 against the Titans. They are not the same team defensively as last year, and I expect Andrew Luck to carve them up, especially if Jalen Ramsey is out. During the Colts’ five-game win streak, they are averaging 34.6 points per game. As long as the Jaguars find the end zone twice, I like the over. The last time these two teams faced off, the final score was 29-26 in the Colts’ favor. I think we see the same kind of game this week. The Colts win this game 30-21.

Chris Kennedy’s Picks:

New York Giants +4:

This is just the kind of game that the Giants should lose, but could very well win. They’re going up against a Bears defense that has won five straight games, without allowing more than 22 points in any of them. With that said, while I don’t have any data to back up my prediction, I just have a hunch that the G-Men will cover this spread.

Oakland Raiders +15:

I know the Raiders won’t win, but this spread is just too high for me to bite on. The Chiefs defense is bad enough for Derek Carr to put up some points, even with Seth Roberts and Marcell Ateman at receiver. The Raiders are a mess, and the Chiefs are a juggernaut, but I’m taking the Raiders for the points.

New England Patriots -5:

I like the Patriots to win the game, but I think the Vikings keep it close. The Patriots’ secondary has been exploited all season, which means that Diggs and Thielen will get their opportunities to score. New England is 4-1 at home, and the Vikings are 2-2-1 when on the road, against the spread. The Patriots are fighting for home field in the playoffs, and Belichik knows how to push the right buttons towards the end of the season.

All stats provided by ESPN and Vegas Insider

Top DFS Stacks for Week 13 (Draft Kings NFL Main Slate)

If you read my article from a few days ago, then you have some players that you can use to start building your pool with. This article will focus on some stacks that you can put together to really maximize your lineups with players that are in good positions to score a good amount of points, especially targeting games that have high over-unders. Stacks are a great way to differentiate your lineups from the competition, so let’s dive right into it.

Jared Goff - $6,400/Robert Woods - $6,900/Bruce Ellington - $3,500:

The Rams are favored by 10 and Detroit is ranked 30th in DVOA pass defense. Robert Woods has a great matchup against Nevin Lawson, as Woods has the advantage in speed and size. This game could be closer than some expect, as the Rams haven’t played as well on the road as they have at home, which is why I like adding Ellington to this stack. Ellington isn’t a guy that will stretch the field, but he will rack up the receptions, especially playing from behind. Since Marvin Jones has been out the last two weeks (now for the rest of the season), Ellington has been second on the team in targets.

Kirk Cousins - $5,500/Adam Thielen - $8,000/Julian Edelman - $7,100:

This stack is a bit expensive, but Cousins does help to add some savings. I expect the Patriots to win, which is why I like the Cousins and Thielen stack, as they will most likely be playing catch up. Edelman on the other side has a favorable matchup against Mackensie Alexander that he should be able to take advantage of. Both teams rank in the top seven in game pace this season, so we should see a lot of plays throughout the game. Thielen should draw Jason McCourty, who has not been stellar in coverage this season.

Cam Newton - $6,600/Curtis Samuel - $3,900/Mike Evans - $8,100:

I love playing Cam in DFS because he gives you the rushing upside that most QBs don’t provide. It just so happens that Tampa Bay is awful against both the run and the pass, as they rank in the bottom five in DVOA for both. If Devin Funchess can’t go, then I love Samuel in this spot. He’s a playmaker with great speed and would be the number two WR alongside D.J. Moore. Mike Evans is a no-brainer to add on the other side of this game. He averages 17 yards per target, and 17 percent of those targets come in the red zone.

Aaron Jones - $6,700/Green Bay Defense - $2,800:

I’m still a fan of stacking a home favorite running back with its defense, especially in a matchup as tasty as this one. The Cardinals give up 132 rushing yards and 45 receiving yards per game to opposing RBs. Since Mike McCarthy started to finally recognize Jones as the lead back in Week 10, Jones has been a top five fantasy RB, averaging 27 Draft Kings points per game. The Packers defense hasn’t been stellar, but Josh Rosen and company can make any defense look good. Arizona has turned the ball over 22 times this year, which is second worst in the league.

All stats provided by Football Outsiders, 4for4, and Pro Football Reference

Draft Kings Week 13 Report

We’re more than two thirds of the way through the season, and Week 13 is upon us. Now is the time of year when injuries are stacking up, and you’re scouring the waiver wire for replacements. That also means there are some really nice value plays in DFS. As always, I’ll be showcasing my favorite plays this week at each position, along with some guys you might want to avoid. Let’s get after it!

QB:

Jared Goff - $6,400 (LOCK): I think that Goff will be highly owned, but I like him as a pivot off of Mahomes who should be the highest-owned QB this week. The Rams are a big play team, and they’re going against a Lions defense that gives up a lot of big plays (plays of 20 plus yards.) Detroit is also allowing the second highest completion percentage and TD rate to opposing QBs this season. Even without Cooper Kupp, Goff has plenty of weapons at his disposal to shred this defense.

Chase Daniel - $4,800 (VALUE): If Trubisky can’t go on Sunday, save at QB and add Daniel to a few of your lineups. He played alright in his debut on Thanksgiving, with a 230/2 TD line. The Bears will face off against the New York Football Giants this week, who just don’t have an identity right now. Daniel has enough talent around him, including a solid offensive line that will allow him to succeed if he needs to fill in for Trubisky for another week.

Deshaun Watson - $6,100 (FADE): Sorry, Texans fans. It’s not that I’m low on Watson this week, as much as I’m really high on this Browns defense. This season, Cleveland has a pressure rate of 11%, and a top ten defense in the league. They also only allow a 62 percent completion rate, and just four percent TD rate to opposing QBs. Watson hasn’t thrown the ball more than 25 over his last six games, and has only thrown for two TDs or more in one of those games. I just don’t see him reaching value this week.

RB:

Christian McCaffrey - $8,800 (LOCK): I know he will most likely be the highest owned player, but I don’t care. Find a way to jam him into your lineups. He’s top five in the league in total touches, receptions, red zone targets, and touchdowns this year. He’ll be facing a Buccaneers defense that gives up a big play 17 percent of their opponents’ rushing attempts, 50 receiving yards, and 26 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs. Last week, we saw McCaffrey explode for 46 fantasy points, and don’t be surprised if he gets close to 40 points this week.

T.J. Yeldon - $4,400 (VALUE): Leonard Fournette is suspended for this week, which means we’ll see a bigger workload for Yeldon. The Jags are underdogs against the Colts, and they’ll be starting Cody Kessler behind center. When Fournette was out with injuries, Yeldon was a top ten fantasy running back in PPR formats. He’s going against the Colts, who allow 69 receiving yards and 29 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs. Carlos Hyde hasn’t been able to get much going with just 3.4 yards per attempt this year, so I’m not too worried about him taking away key touches from Yeldon.

Ezekiel Elliott - $8,000 (FADE): Elliott is in contention for the MVP this season, but I really believe in this Saints defense. They’ve allowed just 50 rushing yards and 40 receiving yards per game to opposing RBs this season. So far this year, New Orleans has held Todd Gurley, Joe Mixon, and Saquon Barkley all under 70 yards rushing. I know Dallas is at home, but so were Barkley and Mixon.

WR:

Mike Evans - $8,100 (LOCK): This was a tough one, as there are a lot of great plays this week at WR. I’m going with Evans because the Buccaneers are road underdogs in what should be a fairly competitive game. Also, with an over-under of 56, the points will be a plenty. Evans has found the end zone just five times this year, though I’m sure having a revolving door of QBs hasn’t helped much. Regardless, he still averages more yards per target than any other WR in the league, and will be facing a Panthers secondary that gives up 40 fantasy points per game to opposing WRs.

Courtland Sutton - $4,200 (VALUE): We’ve been waiting all season for Sutton’s breakout game, and I feel like this week could be it. He’s going against the Bengals who are on pace to allow the most total yards in NFL history this season. The over-under for this game is just 42, but both of these teams are in the top ten in pace, so I feel like this could be a sneaky shootout. Sutton is averaging 20 yards per target, which is just second in the league to the Niners’ Marquise Goodwin. Sutton needs just 13 points to hit value, which makes him a great play in this spot.

Odell Beckham Jr. - $7,800 (FADE): I love Odell, but I just don’t trust anything that’s happening in the Giants’ offense. He’s up against a stout Bears defense that only allows 35 fantasy points per game to all WRs, and only 60 receiving yards to opposing WR1. Odell hasn’t hit value over his last three games, and I don’t see him doing it this week.

TE:

Jared Cook - $4,700 (LOCK): I love Kelce this week, but at $7K, it’s a bit high for me. Cook could be both my lock and value pick, as he has such a great matchup for such a low cost. Cook has scored in back to back games, and would need just 14 points to hit value. The Chiefs have allowed 17 fantasy points per game to opposing TEs, which is second worst to only the Panthers this year. Oakland is a big underdog, which means that Derek Carr will be airing it out all game.

Gerald Everett - $2,900 (VALUE): Everett has scored three times in his last two games, and this week he’s facing a Lions defense that has allowed the fourth most TDs to opposing TEs this year. If you’re looking to pretty much punt the position this week, Everett is as good of an option as you’ll find.

Jordan Reed - $5,300 (FADE): With the exception of just one game, Reed has really burned a lot of fantasy players this year. He’s been healthy, but has only cracked 13 PPR points three times. He’s also going against an Eagles defense that allows just 8 fantasy points per game to opposing TEs, along with giving up just three TDs all season to them. Reed is a hard pass for me this week.

*All stats provided from Football Outsiders, 4for4, Pro Football Reference, and NFL Next Gen Stats

NFL Week 11 Picks

Jonathon Lee’s Week 11 Picks (Last Week 1-2, YTD: 10-13)

Atlanta Falcons -3

Who are these Dallas Cowboys? I don’t think anyone knows. This pick will be settled in the first quarter, because what we do know about the Cowboys is that they have one way they are able to win games: take the lead early and control the game by running the ball. I think the Falcons prevent this from happening in Atlanta and they never look back. Matt Ryan going toe to toe with Dak Prescott? Give me Matt Ryan and lay the 3 points.

Philadelphia Eagles @ New Orleans Saints OVER 55.5

55.5 is not too far off the monstrous total in the Monday Night Football game in Los Angeles. It’s definitely a high number for an NFL game. Who are we kidding, though? The Saints are at home where their game is elevated even more, and they’re coming off a week where they did not punt the ball one single time. On the other side, Philadelphia is officially in desperation mode being two games behind the Redskins in the NFC East. The Saints win this game but the Eagles score some points, and with this Brees/Kamara/Thomas three headed monster, we might only need about one Eagles touchdown to hit the over.

Arizona Cardinals -5.5

The Raiders simply just suck. They’re awful. They’re in Vegas mode and coming for the number 1 draft pick. Out of all the terrible things Jon Gruden has done in his first of ten years as head coach, the one thing he’s not going to do is win this game and jeopardize having the top overall pick. The Cardinals, on the other hand, have a rookie Quarterback looking to figure things out, and actually did put up some effort against the Chiefs last week. This game will be ugly, but I expect the Cardinals to win by at least two field goals.

Minnesota Vikings +2.5

Let’s all pump the brakes a little bit on the 2018 Bears. Yes, they are having an impressive year with young talent spread all around the field both offensively and defensively, but that key word is young talent. At 6-3, five of those six wins were against the Cardinals, Buccaneers, Jets, Bills, and Lions. Now they head to the bright lights on Sunday Night Football against their division rival Minnesota Vikings freshly rested off a bye week. This matchup will be a test for the Bears, and like most divisional games, I’m taking the points.

Kansas City Chiefs vs Los Angeles Rams OVER 63.5

This game is the second time this year for both the Rams and the Chiefs to have a heavy matchup between two offensive juggernauts. For the Chiefs, it was the highly anticipated Week 6 Sunday Night game against the Patriots that didn’t disappoint with a 40-43 final score. For the Rams, it was the equally anticipated Week 9 meeting with the Saints that also lived up to the hype with a final score of 45-35. Both of those games went way over the total. Now here we are in Week 11 in a clash of offenses on Monday Night Football. I can’t think of any scenario where the final score doesn’t have both teams in the 30’s. Grab your popcorn and take that over.

Chris Kennedy’s Week 11 Picks (Last Week 1-2; YTD: 5-4):

Kansas City Chiefs +3.5:

This game has the highest over-under in the history of the NFL, at 63.5, and features two of the top three highest scoring offenses in the league. The Chiefs are 8-2 against the spread, and 5-0 against the spread when on the road this year. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Chiefs win by 6 or more.

Carolina Panthers -4:

The Panthers offense has been impressive so far this year, though their pace of play has been one of the slowest in the league. They face the Lions who actually have the second slowest pace of play this season, mostly due to their inconsistent offense. Carolina has struggled on the road this year, but I think the Lions defense is too bad to lose to.

Arizona Cardinals -5.5:

Since Byron Leftwich took over as the head coach, he’s been making sure that his playmakers are getting the ball. We’ve seen an uptick in targets and usage for both Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson. Oakland is a complete dumpster fire right now, and I’d be shocked if they win another game this year.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New York Giants OVER 52:

Ryan Fitzpatrick is back behind center, and he’s just slinging the ball all over the field (sometimes to the other team.) I can see both teams exceeding their season averages in points this Sunday, as neither defense is very good. The Giants give up more points at home than they do when on the road. Give me the over.

Week 10 NFL Picks

Jonathon Lee’s Week 10 Picks

Overall Record: 9-11 (Last Week: 2-3)

Atlanta Falcons -5.5

The Falcons have now won three in a row and absolutely in the playoff race at 4-4. They seem to be clicking now and were even able to get Julio Jones in the end zone last week. On the opposite side, the Cleveland Browns have now lost four in a row by an average margin of 14.5 points. Baker Mayfield and company will get it right one day, but this is way too important of a game for the Falcons and their season. Atlanta wins and covers.

Tennessee Titans vs. New England Patriots OVER 46.5

I hate to say this, but Marcus Mariota looked like a good Quarterback last week against what is regarded as a good Dallas Cowboys defense. Combine a healthy Mariota with the Patriots quick offense that has averaged 35.5 points per game in their six-game winning streak, and I really like this over the pick.

Seattle Seahawks +10

This is a divisional game between two teams that clearly do not like each other. Seattle was coming off a loss to the Chargers last week, and at 4-4, they are stuck fighting for their season against arguably the best team in football. While I obviously don’t think they beat the Rams, they will play with desperation and put up a fight. This is their second meeting of the season, in which the first match was a 33-31 Rams victory. I’m looking for another close game that the Seahawks cover.

Chris Kennedy’s Week 10 Picks (Last Week: 3-0):

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3:

The Redskins have quite a few injuries throughout the offense, which doesn’t bode well for one of the lowest scoring teams in the league. The Buccaneers have scored 27 points at home this season with Fitzpatrick behind center. The Redskins defense has been fairly good this season, ranking in the top ten, but I like Fitzmagic to come in and hand Washington their fourth loss of the year.

Arizona Cardinals +17:

I don’t see this being the blowout that most are expecting. Yes, the Cardinals have been abysmal on offense this year, scoring just 14 points per game. They don’t give up a lot of big plays (20+ yards), however. On the other side, the Chiefs defense is susceptible to big plays, especially against RBs. I think we see much solid production from David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald on Sunday, with a bit of Christian Kirk sprinkled in. While I fully expect the Chiefs to win this game, I’m still taking the Cardinals to cover the spread.

New Orleans Saints @ Cincinnati Bengals UNDER 54:

The Bengals will be without A.J. Green this week, which means we should see more of Joe Mixon in the passing game. John Ross will also be relied upon more, especially if C.J. Uzomah can’t go this week. The Saints have been stellar against the run this year, giving up just 56 yards per game. The Bengals defense has had their issues this season, and that will continue in this game. I just don’t see it being the total shootout that it could have been if A.J. Green were playing.

- All stats from ESPN

Finally Julio!

Touchdown, Julio Jones! A drought that began 343 days ago, spanning 12 games, while racking up 115 Fantasy Points, is how long it took Jones to find the end zone for six. Toward the end of the fourth quarter Sunday, Jones took a bubble screen and cut up field for a 35-yard touchdown. As stated by ESPN Fantasy, since the start of the 2017 season, Jones leads wide receivers with over 2,000 yards. This season he has had five 100-yard games, but struggled in the red zone. This discrepancy mystifies fantasy owners everywhere concerning Jones’s lack of touchdown receptions during that time span. 

According to CBS Sports, Jones is the highest priced wide receiver in football averaging a cost of $8,000 on Draft Kings and FanDuel respectively. This outrageous purchase price finally paid dividends on Sunday as Jones caught his first touchdown since Rockstar by Post Malone was the #1 song on the Billboard charts. 

The question most owners are asking themselves is: “Is this the start of a trend or is it an anomaly?” Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons quarterback, conveniently forgets that he has a top five wide receiver In the red zone thus giving fantasy owners around the world anxiety about trusting his memory. For his career, Jones averages 96.2 receiving yards per game which is tops in the league since 2014, as stated by Pro Football Focus.

Heading into Cleveland this weekend, against a team that is struggling to find its identity, Jones and the Falcons offense should be feasting on the Dog Pound. However, Cleveland’s defense has shown flashes of competence. In 8 out of 9 games they have picked off the quarterback. Meanwhile, Ryan is doing an outstanding job protecting the ball this season. NFL.com highlights Ryan’s nineteen touchdowns to three interceptions. Those statistics reflect remarkable ball security. Pro Football Focus shows the Browns allow offenses to score an average of twenty eight points. Therefore, this game  should be another one where the Falcons pile on the points and Jones is able to cash checks in the end zone. 

For much of the last year, Jones has been a great option at WR1 or WR2. He amasses the yards that consistently rank him in the top ten of the position weekly. If Jones can manage to string together multiple games down the stretch with touchdowns, we could possibly be seeing another All-Pro season from the receiver. In fantasy terms that means wins, and we all know what wins mean... bragging rights and financial dividends. Cha-Ching! 

Fantasy Tidbits: 11/3/18

We have now found ourselves in the part of the season where multiple teams are on their byes and it is necessary to start your 3rd or 4th most ideal lineups. These are what I call the dog days of Fantasy. Here are some tidbits for Week 9.

Around the League

Lesean ‘Shady’ McCoy

Shady McCoy is not a good play against the Bears today. The Bears are the #3 rushing defense. They haven’t given up a rushing TD all season. The Bears are going to make Peterman beat them, and he won’t. At most I’d put McCoy in the Flex. If you have better options, bench him.

Phillip Rivers

Rivers is often forgotten about in fantasy leagues. It seems player fatigue is attached to him. Hasn’t he been playing for 20 years already? Rivers is only owned in 80% of leagues. If he is available in your league and you need a QB, he is a fantastic pick up. Today against the Seahawks should be a shoot out. Opposing QB’s are completing 66% of their passes against the former Legion of Boom. Rivers has 17 TD’s to 3 INT’s this season. The Seahawks have picked off 10 passes this season, but I don’t see Rivers turning the ball over for that to make a difference.

Hometown Fantasy Texans Versus Broncos

Phillip Lindsey

With Royce Freeman down, Phillip Lindsey will get all of the RB snaps against the Texans. All season, the Broncos have used a dual RB system with the two rookies. In limited time, with 50% of the offensive snaps or fewer, Lindsay has taken advantage of his opportunities. He is projected to rush for around 70 yards. The Texans do give up chunk running plays, but have only given up two rushing TD’s all season. That’s #2 in the league. I’d put Freeman on the bench or a Flex position. Personally, I’d stay away from the Bronco offense in fantasy today.

#4 (Watson) versus #4 (Keenum)

The battle of the #4’s isn’t really a battle at all. Watson is owned in 95% of leagues to Keenum’s 11%. Watson, in his de facto rookie season, is continuing to be a fantasy owner’s dream. Watson is completing 65% of his passes this season. In the first six games of the season, Watson was good for one interception every game. The last 2 games, Watson hasn’t turned the ball over to 6 TD’s.

When it comes to rushing, Watson averaged 40 yards per game the first 5 weeks. Since then, he has rushed for 29 yards in three games total. Watson has rushed 50% less the last two games. Billy O called a masterful game last Thursday. We will see if Watson stays in the pocket more. It will also be predicated on the OL. Chubb is hampered, but Miller is coming to feast. Watson is definitely a start in the QB1 position.

Keenum can only dream of Watson-type production. Despite having one of the best offensive lines in football, Keenum is playing very subpar. In three games this season, the Broncos don’t have a passing TD. Keenum has thrown an interception in every game this season. Expect the Texans safeties to be able to get a few INT’s. The Broncos traded one of their best and most durable offensive weapons this week, so expect lower production with the Broncos offense. The Texans have a weakness at corner due to injuries; if this offensive line can protect Keenum against the bull rush of the Texans star-studded defensive line, Keenum can go down field for some chunk plays. Keenum is not a good start in your league unless you have no other options. He is a bottom third QB this season.

Check back next Sunday morning for more Fantasy Tidbits. If you have any questions, find me on Twitter @MrsStephanieTA.

Draft Kings Week 9 Main Slate Report

Houston Preeminence is officially LIVE, and we aren’t going away. That includes myself, as I continue to provide you with the DFS content that you crave. We’re looking at Week 9, and there are some really nice matchups to focus on. As always, I’ll share with you my “LOCK,” “VALUE,” and “FADE” picks for the Draft Kings NFL Main Slate. Let’s get after it.

QB:

Jared Goff - $6,000 (LOCK): Here is a slam dunk of a pick. Goff is going up against the Saints this week and in New Orleans. At home this season, the Saints are giving up an average of 400 passing yards per game to opposing QBs,z and they rank sixth worse in the league in total DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average).v Goff has been very impressive this season, completing 67 percent of his passes, and sporting a TD rage of 6.7.z The Saints, have been allowing a completion percentage of 70 and a TD rate of 5.91.z Cooper Kupp is also on track to play, which gives Goff another piece of ammunition against this porous Saints defense.

Ryan Fitzpatrick - $5,500 (VALUE): I’m going with Fitzpatrick here until he gets benched again. Who knows with this team. In the first three games of the season, Fitzpatrick threw for over 400 yards in each game, and at least 3 TDs.z He’ll be facing a Carolina defense that has been average against the pass, ranking 20th in Pass Def DVOA.v This game has an over-under of 55, with the Panthers as a six-point favorite, so I fully expect Fitzpatrick to be slinging the ball all over the field on Sunday.

Patrick Mahomes - $7,100 (FADE): Do you know who ranks first in Pass Defense DVOA?v Or who gives up the least amount of fantasy points per game to opposing QBs?w The Browns. Yes, you read that right. The Cleveland Browns have been the best team in the NFL against the pass this season. The Brown are allowing opposing QBs to complete 60 percent of their passes (second lowest of main slate defenses), and a TD rate of only 3.32 percent (lowest on the main slate).z I know Mahomes has been phenomenal this year, but this week I’ll be looking elsewhere at QB.

RB:

Kareem Hunt - $7,700 (LOCK): While I’m fading his QB, I’m all in on Hunt. Tampa Bay surrenders an average of 118 rushing yards per game to opposing RBs,z along with 27 fantasy points per game.w The Chiefs are an eight and a half point favorite this week, which means I’m expecting Hunt to carry the load towards the end of the game.

Kenyan Drake - $5,300 (VALUE): Drake is looking to continue his fantasy success this week against the Jets. Over the last two weeks, Drake has averaged just over 21 PPR (points per reception) points.y The New York Jets are allowing 92 rushing yards per game to opposing RBs this year, to go along with 26 fantasy points.z The Dolphins offensive line ranks eighth in the NFL this year in 2nd Level Yards, meaning that they’re giving their RBs a better opportunity of gaining five to ten yards beyond the line of scrimmage.v

James Conner - $7,200 (FADE): I know that Conner has been superb this year, but he’s facing the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens allow just 70 rushing yards per game, and an insane 18 receiving yards per game to opposing RBs.z Last week, Baltimore held Christian McCaffrey to just three yards per carry, and 11 yards receiving on just four receptions.z

WR:

Robert Woods - $7,000 (LOCK): The Rams have so many offensive weapons to choose from, especially with Cooper Kupp returning to action. I’m going with Woods as my pick because the Saints are the worst in the NFL against opposing WR2, giving up 113 receiving yards per game.v Woods leads this receiving core with eight targets per game, and with the Rams projected to score almost 30 points on Sunday I think Woods has the big day for L.A.z

Amari Cooper - $4,600 (VALUE): That’s right, folks! This is the week that Amari goes bonkers. Ok, maybe not bonkers, but I think he has over 100 yards receiving and two TDs. He’s facing a Titans defense that has allowed 41 fantasy points per game to opposing WRs,w and 81 receiving yards per game to WR1.v Amari is able to line up all over the field, so look for Dallas to try him out in different areas to see if he can exploit a mismatch.

Tyreek Hill - $8,000 (FADE): Hill should see a decent amount of Denzel Ward this week, which doesn’t bode well for Hill. This year, PFF has ranked Ward as the eighth best cover corner in the league.x While Hill can hurt you in so many areas of the game. I’m going to look elsewhere at that price.

TE:

Greg Olsen - $4,700 (LOCK): Olsen found success against a stout Ravens defense last week, and I think he continues that success this week. Yes, he’s against the abysmal Buccaneers, but he’s also going to be matched up against Justin Evans. Evans is giving up a league-high 3.64 Y/RC (yards per reception completed), among NFL safeties.x

Cameron Brate - $2,700 (VALUE): While Brate doesn’t have the targets or yards that O.J. Howards does, he does have the same number of TDs and more targets in the red zone.z Carolina surrenders 18 fantasy points per game to opposing TEs, and Brate should get some opportunities in this high scoring match up.w

Travis Kelce - $6,600 (FADE): Maybe I should have just said to fade all Chiefs (except Hunt) this week. Kelce should be matched up against Jabrill Peppers, who is only allowing 50 percent of completed passing thrown his way.x The Browns just don’t allow many fantasy points to opponents in the passing game, including just nine fantasy points a game to opposing TEs.w

*Stat Source Key (v = Football Outsiders, w = 4for4, x = Pro Football Focus, y = ESPN, z = Pro Football Reference)

Week 9 NFL Picks

Jonathon Lee’s Picks:

Overall Record: 7-8 (Last week: 2-3)

Pittsburgh Steelers +2

The Steelers face the Ravens this Sunday in one of the greatest rivalries we have in the NFL. This divisional matchup always seems to be a close one and like I said last week, I believe this is the time we see the Steelers start to pull away. While I think this will be a close game, I will take the 2 points but have Pittsburgh winning this game outright.

New York Jets +2.5

This is another game that I like the team to win outright but will take the points. For the third week in a row, I am fading Brock Osweiler and the Miami Dolphins. This is a game where Sam Darnold can show he is a liable Quarterback for the future. Give me the Jets in an easy win and put the cherry on top with a Brock Osweiler pick-6.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cleveland Browns UNDER 52

The Kansas City Chiefs are a team that has been a good bet on the over this year, but 52 points is getting high for an NFL game this far into the season. It’d be one thing if it were two high scoring offenses like the Rams/Saints matchup this weekend, but the Browns are averaging just 16 points per game over the last four weeks. The Chiefs are going to convincingly beat the Browns early and run the clock out in the second half for a final score of around 28-10.

Denver Broncos -1

I’m sorry, I know this is a Houston based website, but this is the game the Texans lose. I hate to do this, but you aren’t supposed to bet with emotions. Just think about it, the Texans are not going to win the rest of their games to finish 13-3, and that’s fine. The Broncos are a different team at home and opponents don’t usually perform well in Colorado; just look at Pat Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs losing all game before barely squeezing out a comeback win on Monday Night Football a month ago. It was only two weeks ago that Deshaun Watson had to ride a bus to Florida instead of flying because of the altitude, so that could definitely be a factor in the Mile High City. The Denver pass rush is an advantage to Houston’s offensive line. Let’s just get out of there healthy into the bye week with a favorable schedule the rest of the way. My heart and wallet disagree on this one. Broncos cover the spread.

Minnesota Vikings -5 *J-Lee & CK Consensus Pick*

If the Vikings want to go back to the playoffs, they need to win this game against the Detroit Lions. Both teams are coming off a loss, but the Vikings hung in there with the Saints while the Lions put up an ugly performance against the Seahawks. I think the Vikings get right, at home, before heading into the bye week and prepare to face the Bears, Packers, and Patriots over the following three weeks. Vikings win by at least a touchdown.

Chris Kennedy’s Picks:

Minnesota Vikings -5:

The Detroit Lions rank in the bottom five for overall DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average), but also in Passing and Rushing DVOA.z This means they just can’t stop anyone whether it’s on the ground or through the air. The Vikings have only once failed to score less than 20 points in a game this season. The Lions defense is a mess, and even their top cover corner, Darius Slay, hasn’t been up to par this year. I like the Vikings at home this week.

Atlanta Falcons +1.5:

The Falcons are coming off the bye week with a two-game winning streak, and are scoring an average of 27 points per game this year.y While the Redskins defense has been stout this year, giving up the third least amount of points per game, I’ve been really impressed with the way Matt Ryan has been playing since Freeman landed on IR. I think that Atlanta comes into Washington this week and steals a victory.

L.A. Rams @ New Orleans Saints OVER 58.5:

Both of these teams have combined for an average of 66 points per game.y You add that on top of the fact that they are playing in NO, which is pretty much the “Coors Field” of the NFL, and you have the makings of a crazy high scoring game. Cooper Kupp is on track to play, and that will certainly help to open things up for Goff.

Stat Source Reference: y = ESPN, z = Football Outsiders

Week 8 Draft Kings NFL Showdown (Sunday Night) - Saints @ Vikings

A look at who to pick in the NFL Showdown primetime matchups.

I give much love to the NFL main slate, and probably a bit too much love. So, I want to start providing you with some insight into the prime time matchups on Sunday and Monday nights. DFS sites have started offering “Showdown” contests this season. What is a showdown? It’s a salary based contest, much like your standard classic contests, except it’s focused on just a single game. Where in a classic contest, you pick a QB/RB/RB/WR/WR/WR/TE/FLEX/DST, a showdown allows you to pick six FLEX (including kickers) positions. The other twist of a showdown is the Captain position (represented by a crown).

 The Captain of your lineup will cost 1.5x more than their standard salary, but will also reward you with 1.5x their standard score. For example, Drew Brees is priced at $15,900 as a Captain, but $10,600 as a standard FLEX player.

That also means if he scores 20 points in the FLEX, he would score 30 points as your Captain. Got it? Good. The key to selecting your Captain is to figure out whom you feel will have the most upside, without blowing your budget on one player.

 The last thing I want to mention is ownership. Since it’s just a single game, you’re going to have the same players as almost everyone else in the contest so you want to diversify your picks by selecting players that not many others might, and then mixing those guys in with more popular/predictable options. Now that I’ve gone over the general basis for a Showdown let’s pick out some contrarian plays that should help you to gain an edge over the field.

Disclaimer: Do not fill up your entire roster with these players, but sprinkle them throughout your lineups for diversification.

Mark Ingram - $7,200: Over the last two games, Ingram has out-touched Kamara, 33 to 29.x Now, Kamara is still the guy in New Orleans, but I like Ingram as a pivot off of Kamara. Ingram has also been used in the red zone, with five carries inside the ten, which he has converted two of those carries into scores.y

Roc Thomas - $400: Who? Exactly! Houston, meet Roc Thomas. A UDFA (undrafted free agent) out of Jacksonville State, Thomas is a compact RB that can make plays happen in the passing game out of the backfield. With Dalvin Cook out this week, Thomas should see some opportunities behind Latavius Murray. He only has eight touches this season, but he has seen two targets in the red zone.y

Tre’Quan Smith - $5,400: Smith hasn’t seen a lot of targets (13), as he’s been fighting for playing time with Cameron Meredith.y With Ted Ginn Jr on IR, Smith should see more opportunities. The last two games that Smith has played with Ginn out, he’s been second on the team in targets and had a 111 yard/2TD performance against the Redskins in Week 5.y With Xavier Rhodes out this week, that potentially leaves Mackensie Alexander or Marcus Sherels with the task of covering Smith. I’ll take Smith every day of the week, and twice on Sundays.

Laquon Treadwell - $2,600: Laquon Treadwell, the man that caused me so much pain in Dynasty Football drafts in 2016, has now started to show signs of life. He has already met or exceeded almost every stat this season than he had all of last year. Treadwell has a 76 percent catch rate and is averaging about five targets per game.z With Thielen, Diggs, and Rudolph occupying most of the attention, give Treadwell a look in what should be a high scoring game.

Will Lutz - $3,200/Dan Bailey - $3,400: Yeah, I’m throwing kickers into the mix. So what if I kind of wants to throw up a little. Lutz and Bailey both average as many or more Draft Kings points per game than both of their team’s TEs. Lutz is in the top ten in XP made, and just outside of the top ten (11th) in FG made.w Bailey, since he joined the Vikings in Week 4, has averaged 2.75 XP and FG per game.y Need to save $1,000 or so? Grab a kicker and ditch the TE.

Stat Source Reference: w = ESPN,x = 4for4, y = Pro Football Reference, z = Pro Football Focus