Bo Knows DFS

Blood Diamonds

Written By @Bo_McBigTime

10/16/2020

Week Six is upon us, which doesn’t mean anything significant unless you’re like me and circled the date on the calendar as a huge winning opportunity in cash games. I’m giddy with excitement at this week’s main slate; like when my local booze shop gets a bottle of Blanton’s in stock. I would rather not make a choice between bourbon and reloading my Draft Kings account, so we will try our mightiest to make a double up this week, at minimum. 

Something interesting happened on DK this week; running back pricing is out of control! Compared to the modest increases in the wide receiver market, running backs saw a much larger hike from last week, regardless of the player’s performance. I have a feeling they will also be raising their rake soon, especially after their main competition was under fire last week for their live scoring crashed, leaving all levels of players peeved about the inability to track ownership and/or make late swaps. DK happened upon a new mine, full of diamonds and degenerates. As a DK shareholder, I am loving the angry Fan Duel customers who are stampeding away and using the blood of FD as war paint, scouring the hellscape for deposit promo codes. Consequently, there will be an influx of fresh meat in the DK lobbies, which leaves me licking my chops in cash games and mellowing my exposure to certain GPP tournaments. 

What will not change is my process for ending up above the pay line in each type of main slate contest. I will still play my safe-floor volume players in cash games, I will game stack the ever-loving crap out of GPPs, and in multipliers, I will spend up on high-priced studs and fill in the cracks with those juicy little value plays. Down below, you will see an example lineup from each of these strategies, plus some reasoning and potential pivots.

Volume Play

  • QB: Cam Newton $6,500
  • RB: James Conner $7,100
  • RB: DeAndre Swift $4,500
  • WR: Calvin Ridley $7,800
  • WR: Adam Thielen $7,300
  • WR: Damiere Byrd $3,500
  • TE: Zach Ertz $5,000
  • FLEX: Myles Gaskin $5,400
  • DST: Dolphins $2,900
  • Remaining Salary: $0

From the top, we have a massive opportunity for the Patriots passing game, namely Cam Newton, to explode on a banged-up Broncos secondary. Add in his modest price, and we are a full go, fresh off the plague list. I also like N’Keal Harry, at his price, but Byrd has been equally targeted in the offense and costs a thousand less. I am spending up on Conner this week because I see him getting at least 20 touches in another good matchup, especially with more focus on the rookie Claypool. Ridley and Thielen are the top weapons in what should pan out to be a passing game shootout. Ertz is criminally underpriced this week after a rare dud last week. I’m fading Fulgham this week because he’s too expensive and shiny. Gaskin can wipe his brow that he won’t have to share the backfield with a certain former All-Pro, and pairing him with his defense against Flacco and the Jets is a no-brainer.

Game Stack

  • QB: Ryan Tannehill $5,900
  • RB: James Conner $7,100
  • RB: Myles Gaskin $5,400
  • WR: Adam Thielen $7,300
  • WR: Will Fuller $6,800
  • WR: AJ Brown $5,600
  • TE: Jonnu Smith $5,200
  • FLEX: D’Andre Swift $4,500
  • DST: Bengals $2,100

Remaining Salary: $100

I will not be heavily exposed, money-wise, in GPP tournaments this week. DK is going to be making all sorts of bank in the Milly Maker from new players who are emigrating from Fan Duel. I will stick to single-entry or limited-entry tournaments with a higher entry fee, which should level the playing field and lower the pay line. My sneaky shootout of the week is the AFC South showdown between the Titans and Texans. I am banking on shinier games and the questionable tags on Brown and Smith to take some of the chalkiness. The obvious shootout is between Atlanta and Minnesota, so I still want some exposure there with Thielen or Ridley. I will eat the chalk on this week’s best value at any position, D’Andre Swift. He is due for a breakout, especially if Adrian Peterson is ruled out with his illness. At the bottom of the DST price barrel are the Bengals. Once again, we will target the incredible probability of Philip Rivers paying our bills with his propensity to turn the ball over and take sacks.

Pay Up On Studs

  • QB: Lamar Jackson $7,700
  • RB: Derrick Henry $7,300
  • RB: D’Andre Swift $4,500
  • WR: Adam Thielen $7,300
  • WR: LaViska Shenault Jr. $5,200
  • WR: N’Keal Harry $4,500
  • TE: Mark Andrews $6,500
  • FLEX: Irv Smith Jr. $2,500
  • DST: Ravens $4,500

Remaining Salary: $0

I am actually excited to play some multipliers this week. There are still some studs out there who are nearly certain to pop off for some crazy value. Lamar Jackson is never below $8k, but this week he somehow is after some mediocre fantasy performances. I don’t believe the league has finally cracked the code of this Ravens offense. I also don’t believe the Eagles are the type of team to duplicate the results of the Ravens’ previous opponents. I don’t want to fade Derrick Henry as I did on Tuesday night, he’s always up for scoring points and I would have him priced above $8k this week, especially with multiple top dollar running backs off the slate. The whole world is still sleeping on LaViska Shenault, who has been one of the safest floors in the game, with an impending Mapletron-Esque explosion waiting to happen. I will also spend up on Conner and Ridley in other builds, so don’t forget about those guys. Another running back in this strategy would be Aaron Jones. Irv Smith is my bargain basement lottery ticket of the week, caught up in that shootout against Atlanta.

Ye of Little Faith

Written By @Bo_McBigTime

10/15/2020

The gravy train finally screeched to a gelatinous, skin-on-top halt in Week 5. My winning streak in cash games was lovely; forcing fewer delves into the bank account to reload funds after our tournament lineups didn’t keep enough coal on the fire. Some incredible value plays broke out for us, like Chase Edmonds and Teddy Bridgewater, but alas, the real breakouts at the bottom of the pricing barrel were missed and compounded with disappointing performances from Antonio Gibson and James Robinson. 

My builds were strong, but not enough to pay out last week, challenging even the most boastful and arrogant DFS player to look inward and test the faith in his or her ability. Before reloading, I made sure to spend some bonus Sheckles (DK Crowns) on the Tuesday slate between the Bills and Titans. I didn’t feel a ton of confidence in any particular build, so I threw together five or six lineups and risked a whopping $2.60. Of course, EVERY SINGLE ONE cashed big for the contest size and I ended up with a wonderful 5x payout. This game (DFS) will drive you mad, win or lose. Since this is the first time in 2020 that I haven’t at least broken even across all played contests, there will have to be a renewed focus on the process. Ye of little faith will be led astray from the principles that have led to victories aplenty. The real winners will wipe their bloody lip, hitch up their britches, and put their nose back on the grindstone.

As with every week, win or lose, we look to take advantage of the pricing algorithms that will price up players who were successful the week before and will also carry higher ownership from points chasers. Here are two players from each skill position who will be overvalued and thus avoided on the upcoming main slate.

Gardner Minshew: Everyone loves to root for the mustachioed Minshew, but he was incredibly inefficient with his 31 completions versus Houston. He threw a season-high 49 passes and barely snuck into bonus territory with 301 passing yards. Detroit’s secondary has not been terrible this season, yielding the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. There is also a good reason to believe the Jaguars will be able to run the football on the Lions in a closer game, making it less likely to see those famous garbage time points from Minshew if he is rostered for $6,400.

Teddy Bridgewater: In a smash matchup last week, Teddy B was more than adequate against the hapless Falcons defense. Even then, the stats were buoyed by a 57-yard house call that was all DJ Moore reminding folks that he’s still special. I don’t see that stat line repeating this week against a staunch Bears defense that put Tom Brady in the senior home. Add to that Teddy’s price tag rising to the $6,000 mark, and I’ll pass for better value if I’m spending down at quarterback this week.

Todd Gurley: Don’t get me wrong here; Todd Gurley has been a revelation in Atlanta with his touchdown production. There is also nothing I hate more than chasing points that came against an atrocious run defense and boosted by multiple touchdowns. Gurley also saw a massive hike in his price, from $5,700 to $6,300. The value just isn’t there in a regression week against a bad-but-not-that-bad Minnesota run defense.

Miles Sanders: Last week’s numbers in the box score caught me by surprise. I was certain that the Steelers were going to bottle up the only real threat in this offense. If you look closer, Sanders compiled all-but-six of his rushing yards on the 74-yard romp in the first quarter. His other 12 touches in the game resulted in 25 total yards. Baltimore is just as stingy upfront as Pittsburgh and will have replayed the long touchdown ad nauseam in the film room. At $6,600, I’ll be looking at a number of much more appealing matchups this week at running back.

Robbie Anderson: Just as easily as we predicted the Panthers to explode on the lowly Atlanta Falcons, we can fade them against the Chicago Bears. Robbie was a darling, converting his 13 targets into eight receptions for 112 yards. I expect the target volume to be more in the six-to-eight range against the Bears, who will have to be better than Atlanta was at rallying to the ball and putting Anderson on the ground.

Darius Slayton: This was another good call made last week, where the Dallas Cowboys predictably could not cover the speedy receiver downfield, to the tune of eight receptions on 11 targets for 129 yards. This week, the Giants face the Washington Football Team, who has fared pretty well against outside receivers to date. I am more fading Slayton because of his price tag, up $600 from last week. I also do not have much confidence that Daniel Jones will have time to heave the ball deep with a talented WFT pass rush up in his business.

Robert Tonyan: What a game this guy had. I am a big fan of his talent (and story), but that one game was a perfect storm for the numbers he put up. Predictably, his price shot up from $3,800 to $5,100!!! Add that to a lot of chasers driving up his ownership, and I’m fading him in all but a couple of GPP builds with Aaron Rodgers. The Bucs are a good defense and the Packers are expecting their red-zone weapon and All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams to return from injury.

Darren Fells: This guy was a nice little sneaky value play when Jordan Akins was ruled out with concussion/ankle injuries against the Jaguars. He was still only targeted twice, corralling both of them with a touchdown to nail down a great tournament bargain smash status. With Akins likely to return this week, plus his price up to $3,800, we can’t in good conscience predict a repeat value from the ageless wonder that seems to only catch touchdowns.

With the fades, we also have the sneaks. The following players are coming off disappointing performances the previous week, but are set up to return hidden value from lower ownership and depressed pricing.

Kirk Cousins: By now, I shouldn’t have to tell you to attack the Atlanta Falcons defense. Cousins had his moments against Seattle but were overall a disappointment with only 16 points on DK. This week, I will be stacking the ever-loving crap out of this game. Neither of these passing defenses are any good and both offenses have enough firepower to put up some impressive numbers. I also expect the Vikings to miss Dalvin Cook a lot in this game. Mattison and Boone are both ok running backs, but neither is a home run waiting to happen like Cook. 

Lamar Jackson: I never thought I would ever see this name on a sneaky value column, but the early reporting is the league is finally figuring out this Ravens offense. With homage to Lee Corso, I say “NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND!” This might be the only time we see Big Truzz under $8,000. The Eagles have also been decent against opposing quarterbacks, but that was aided by facing Dwayne Haskins, Nick Mullens/CJ Beathard, and Joe Burrow’s olé offensive line. Against the Rams, they were shredded for 37 points, and most recently were the midwives in the birth of Mapletron. Give me all of the Lamar Jackson this week. 

James Conner: It was a ho-hum week for Conner against the Eagles. Their front seven did a good job of keeping him from breaking away, which allowed for Chase Claypool to rip off a monstrous performance. The Browns are a better pass-rushing team than they are at stopping opposing running backs, which means the deeper passes might not be readily available for Big Ben, who should look to dump off to Conner a lot in this game. He is averaging 17.5 points per game on DK, and although his price rose to 7,100, it was not as much of a hike as we saw from other players on the slate. 25 points is definitely on the table this week for Conner.

Antonio Gibson: He might be the only running back whose price wasn’t gouged higher from last week to this week. The Rams were a formidable opponent and Gibson’s performance was obviously hindered by the change at quarterback when an injured Kyle Allen made way for Comeback Player of the Year, Alex Smith. With Allen expected to return as the starter this week, look for Gibson to see plenty of action against the Giants, easily justifying his $5,500 price.

Diontae Johnson: Health-permitting, Diontae will be at a sleepy discount at $4,900 this week against Cleveland. We can attribute some of Mapletron’s stellar performance to him replacing Johnson in the slot when he left after taking a direct shot to the back. Assuming Johnson can play, he will command the short-yardage receiving once more, with even more upside after the catch. I would rather plug Johnson into my lineup than a very shiny Claypool if he is active for the game.

N’Keal Harry: This is the perfect season to take advantage of recency bias. Some of these teams have not been seen in weeks from all the COVID shuffling. Harry will go against a vulnerable Broncos secondary with his star quarterback back on the field after contracting COVID-19. Lest we forget this tandem’s explosive capability; and they have been nicely priced down from the hiatus. Wheels are up on the Patriots passing attack this week; most notably their promising sophomore Sun Devil.

Zach Ertz: What an atrocious showing last week for Ertz. He did receive six targets but only pulled one in for six yards. The shiny new object in this offense is undrafted receiver Travis Fulgham, but I see a real opportunity for Ertz to right the ship and get on the same page with Carson Wentz again this week against Baltimore, who has been more successful against outside receivers and upfront than they have against opposing tight ends. At only $5,000, this could be a slate breaker.

Irv Smith Jr.: We saw signs of life from Irv Smith Jr last week, with a season-high five targets and putting up four receptions for 64 yards. His athleticism is undeniable; we should see him get plenty of looks against an abysmal Atlanta secondary in a likely shootout. At only $2,500, he might also be relegated to a cash play because of popularity, but if we don’t see ownership rise too high, this might be the sleeper value pick of the week at the tight end position.

Scooby-Doo and Shag Carpet
Written By @Bo_McBigTime

10/8/2020

Like many of you, I have been playing fantasy football since before high definition television and data-driven analytics that wouldn’t freeze when someone called your house. It was a time where newspapers weren’t going bankrupt and actually featured good journalism. Fantasy football nerds like me would score our leagues on Tuesday morning from the box score and no, we had not yet thought of PPR, SF, or TE premium. I was forced to watch the 49ers, Raiders, and the primetime games on a grainy 19” tube TV that, despite weighing 75 pounds, somehow remained suspended on a wobbly Made-in-China end table that was covered in crayon and held together by dried Pledge. I identified the runner with the ball as Charlie Garner from his gait and running style, not from easily seeing his jersey number. The Saturday research was rudimentary at best, slurping Honey Nut Cheerios while sitting cross-legged on filthy green shag carpet, with Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Machine gang chasing down ghosts in the background. Shaggy was scared of mummies, I was afraid of Brandon Jacobs losing volume to Derrick Ward.


The first real fantasy dilemma that I remember was whether or not I wanted to draft Terrell Owens, whom I thoroughly despised before he became a Dallas Cowboy. This seems unbelievably silly now, as I draft 49ers without blinking if the value is right. DFS allows me to play the way I feel is the most fun. It’s more immediate, more exciting than redraft or dynasty. The stakes are higher, the glory or pain is imminent, and the “experts” are truly only separated from good players by bankroll. You guys out there, the good DFS players, can take down the sharks with good contest selection, sticking to your guns, and attacking a slate without fear. In the end, there are no real experts, only wins and losses. Nobody is immune to the ebbs and flows, mid-game injuries, benchings, and unexpected game scripts. We can only hope to pick the right combination of players to get us over the pay line.

Sticking to the same build strategies that have gotten us this far: Volume Plays for Cash Games, Game Stacks for GPP, and Pay up on Studs for Multipliers. Here are some example builds for each contest type.

Volume Play
QB: Dak Prescott $7,400
RB: Clyde Edwards-Helaire $6,800
RB: Antonio Gibson $5,000
WR: Amari Cooper $7,400
WR: Robbie Anderson $5,900
WR: Darius Slayton $4,800
TE: Eric Ebron $4,000
FLEX: Chase Edmonds $4,700
DST: Steelers $3,800
Remaining Salary: $200


Despite the shrinking slate from COVID-19, I expect the pay line on cash games to be a tick higher this week. There are plenty of safe plays here. The key is the floor of production expected. Stacking isn’t always something I need to focus on in cash games, but the Cowboys have shown the need to pass, and an aptitude to pass well, in every game so far. There are more safe cash RBs on the board here, such as Mike Davis, James Conner, Kareem Hunt, and James Robinson, but they are priced up as a result of the past week. I am torn between my beloved DJ Moore and a liberated-from-Gase Robbie Anderson. Anderson has been better this year and is cheaper, so I’ll play the game. Slayton is facing the Cowboys… Ebron is a sneaky safe play this week, with many people forgetting about the Steelers after their forced bye week. Philly is terrible against the tight end position and Big Ben is liking the early connection with Ebron. I don’t believe Drake is 100%, so despite another cupcake opponent, I will take the discount on Edmonds in this format to really crush value here. The Steelers will be licking their chops with a tattered Eagles line and a quarterback who holds the ball too long and makes plenty of mistakes.

Game Stack
QB: Teddy Bridgewater $5,900
RB: Mike Davis $6,400
RB: Ezekiel Elliott $7,800
WR: Amari Cooper $7,400
WR: Robbie Anderson $5,900
WR: Olamide Zaccheaus $3,000
TE: Evan Engram $ 4,600
FLEX: Todd Gurley $5,700
DST: Colts $3,300
Remaining Salary: $0


In GPP/Tournament play, we aim to be BIG and different. You’re buying a lottery ticket, hoping your numbers are the ones to pop up. One way to increase the odds of rostering the slate-breaking money play is to attack the games that are likely to feature a high point total and predict which players will contribute most to that pyrotechnic display. You can attack bad defenses like Dallas and Atlanta or you can feature great offenses like Seattle, Kansas City, and Baltimore. This week I am erring on the combination of the Dallas/NY Giants and Carolina/Atlanta games. Both games feature decent to great firepower on offense and atrocious defense on both sides. To be different, we look to the lower-priced quarterbacks like Teddy Throwsevelt and Danny Dumps, instead of expensive Dak and wildly inconsistent Matt Ryan. Mike Davis has been the perfect system running back and his price might be too spicy for tournament players. I also love DJ Moore this week in tournaments for a little more coin than Robbie Anderson. Zaccheaus is likely only a product of his newly found opportunity, with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley nursing injuries and Russell Gage showing he is only a slot weapon when the studs on the outside are running well, but he should get looks and make his bargain price pay off great ROI.

Pay Up On Studs
QB: Patrick Mahomes $7,700
RB: Ezekiel Elliott $7,800
RB: Chase Edmonds $4,700
WR: Tyreek Hill $6,900
WR: Henry Ruggs III $4,700
WR: Olamide Zaccheaus $3,000
TE: Travis Kelce $6,400
FLEX: Laviska Shenault Jr. $4,500
DST: Cardinals $4,100
Remaining Salary: $200


Once again multiplier contests are a hybrid between the volume floor needs of a cash game and the upside and differentiation needs of a GPP. You have to be above the pay line, but that pay line is typically higher with the need to beat 90% of your opponents. I have had success with a “Stars and Scrubs” approach for years in these contests. Stars are a safer bet to return both floor security and mega upside. No offense epitomizes that strategy more than the Chiefs. Another strategy would be to put CEH in and swap Cheetah for another high dollar wide receiver. Kelce is also a nice pay up option in tournaments. Ruggs, coming off an injury, possesses insane upside in a divisional slugfest and is going to be less popular from being forgotten about. Zaccheaus is the best value on the board this week, with his new role in a banged-up receiving corps. Big Viska is criminally underpriced at $4,500 and enters Week 5 without an injury designation. The Cardinals defense has been average this season, but a date with Joe Flacco and the hapless Jets should elevate them. Some weeks shape up where multipliers and GPP lineups are very close in resemblance. This is one of those weeks, so I will employ this build in some tournaments as well.

Cash Is King
Written By @Bo_McBigTime

When I set out to write DFS articles, it was with visions of grandeur and a cacophony of cheering fans who would heed my advice and praise me for leading them to riches. I can happily say that we have been slightly above average overall, nothing less than mediocre. For the cash players out there, we have doubled up EVERY SINGLE WEEK. For some, that has also translated into modest tournament winnings. Our spouses can upsize to the venti coffee drink and the single guys and gals can afford that extra indoor succulent plant that can live on two spritzes of water per month instead of three. For those of you sipping your overpriced elixir while talking to your cacti about injured running backs, we’re just getting warmed up.

Where was I right? We saw a dreadful performance from the entire Bears offense, led by “One Trick Nick” Foles. The Colts were just as suffocating to the clueless Nagy attack as I suspected, only salvaged mildly by an astounding touchdown catch in garbage time by Allen Robinson. I predicted a total struggle and ARob was the only one who ended up with enough points to justify a spot in your DFS lineup. Rex Burkhead faded back into his cave, Mo Alie-Cox was out-snapped by Trey Burton and Jack Doyle, and Jimmy Graham was covered well by the aforementioned Colts defense. Deshaun Watson was strong, albeit not amazing with 23.9 points, Darren Waller was back to his highly-targeted ways with 16.8, and Joe Mixon broke the freaking slate with a whopping 45.1 points!


Where was I wrong? I took some gutsy shots last week in tournament play and honestly, it turned out dreadful. It was true to the upside you need to win a tournament, but not many panned out. The biggest miss was on Kenyan Drake. Yes, he looked tentative and disinterested, but what stood out on the tape was the play-calling by the Cardinals. Drake touched the ball plenty, but was running mainly shotgun formation stretch runs to the short side of the field. They also are not passing to him like they did a ton of last season. Baker Mayfield was sharp, but was game scripted out of volume by the effectiveness of the Browns running game against the Cowboys. DJ Moore was not targeted enough to make him a good play. His low red zone numbers are worrisome. Justin Jefferson and Devin Singletary exceeded my expectations again this week, and the GOAT Tom Brady was absolutely lethal against a great Chargers secondary and without Chris Godwin. That was some kind of shootout with a rookie quarterback 22 years his junior, with the old guard winning the game with his fifth touchdown pass.

We had some truly remarkable breakout performances in Week Four, but not all of them will carry over to a winning lineup this week. I have picked two players from each skill position who are unlikely to appear in a winning lineup from a points regression, exacerbated by higher pricing and ownership.

Gardner Minshew: I really like Minshew as a player, but I find it difficult to put him in this week against a capable Houston pass defense. He is even priced above Matt Ryan this week, who I expect to be more likely to put up the 24 points that the Mustache did last week. He’s a good guy to fade this week.


Ryan Fitzpatrick: Some of you whackos lucked out last week playing Fitz in tournaments as a value play. In the end, sheer terrible volume turned into 26 points for Fitz, thanks to 45 passes for enough to get over the 300-yard bonus, 46 yards rushing, and a garbage time dive into the end zone. He even threw two interceptions to his zero touchdown passes. This week he faces the 49ers, who love to play keep-away with the running game. Volume is capped, and the bugles will be sounding for Tua Tagavailoa as a result of this regression.


Melvin Gordon: Last week was the swan song for MGIII. The Jets defense is terrible and that’s all it took for Gordon to break away for two long touchdown runs and perk everyone’s ears up. I see it all come crashing back to earth this week against the mighty Patriots. I won’t even have Gordon in tournaments, in fear of the complete shutdown.

Kareem Hunt & Co: The Browns love to run the ball. They feasted on the Cowboys to the tune of 307 rushing yards. Nick Chubb is out for a while with a knee injury, so the balance of touches is in question. Hunt is surely elevated in the meantime, and D’Ernest Johnson is the waiver wire money pit this week. Don’t count out Dontrell Hilliard for a share either. This week, I’ll play Hunt in tournaments here and there, but won’t touch anyone here in cash against a tough Colts defense.

Odell Beckham Jr: There it was; the temporary rekindling of happiness for OBJ. It usually happens as a result of exploding against the Cowboys, which he has done numerous times throughout his career. Don’t expect it to last, as they now face the toughest pass defense in the league. OBJ is priced appropriately, but if he gets blanked, I won’t be the least bit surprised.


Jameson Crowder: With the news of Sam Darnold being held out of this week’s game with his ailing shoulder, we must immediately downgrade the red-hot Crowder. Arizona has done well defending the wide receiver position, and Joe Flacco does not have the pure locked-in obsession with Crowder that Darnold does. He will do fine, but he is overpriced coming off a 20 point breakout last Thursday.


Austin Hooper: I would say that the tight ends due for the most regression are George Kittle and Robert Tonyan, but Kittle is always a good play and Tonyan is on the bye week. Enter Hooper, who is another Cleveland fade this week after a smash in Dallas. Indy is number one against the tight end position. Hooper’s volume in the passing game has already been sparse. Play the Browns studs at your own risk.


Dalton Schultz: The Cowboys passing game really has not missed Blake Jarwin this season. Schultz is not quite as athletic and his hands are occasionally suspect, but the Stanford kid has still commanded a good share of targets out of the millions dished out by Dak Prescott. The Giants have shown some strength from the linebacker position and are the only NFC East squad to cover the tight end position well. I would look at Zeke Elliott and the outside receivers, Cooper and Gallup to get more looks this week to exploit mismatches.

Keep an eye out for these guys who were disappointing last week, but should be in line for a bounce-back, with added value from depressed DK pricing and ownership percentage

Jared Goff: The most stunning thing I saw last week was the abysmal coaching job exhibited by Sean McVay against a pitiful New York Giants team. He had the Rams playing not to lose, so naturally, it took the whole game for Los Angeles to pull away. The play calling for Goff was ultra-conservative and boring, and the running back touches went to the carcass of Malcolm Brown, instead of the explosive and talented Darrell Henderson. I look for McVay to right the ship and remove the shackles from Goff against Washington. At $6500, he isn’t a steal but should provide the volume floor needed in a cash lineup.


Daniel Jones: It pains me to say it as a Cowboys fan, but their defense is worse than fruitcake made from roadkill and old prunes. The Giants have been explosive at times this year and Jones will be my tournament quarterback for this week, coming off a stinker against the Rams.


Jonathan Taylor: Taylor was another player notably absent from the game plan in Indy, where touches were given to the serviceable-but-nothing-more Jordan Wilkins. Frank Reich isn’t a bad coach, but I am sick and tired of talented players not getting the opportunity to get into a rhythm and show what they are capable of. With all of that being said, JT is still a powder keg of talent and is bound to blow up in a big way. After that, I don’t think he will be sharing much for the rest of his illustrious career.

Photo Credit: Full Press Coverage


Clyde Edwards-Helaire: Yes, another rookie. CEH’s performance was not terrible against a rough matchup with the Patriots. I can’t stress enough the amount of bounce-back potential that exists when a running back goes from facing a great run defense to a terrible one the next week. The Raiders are terrible at slowing down the running back position, and CEH will be ready to show that his Week One performance was not a flash in the pan.


Michael Gallup: The torches and pitchforks are out. Gallup has been disappointing this season, despite running a lot of routes in the top passing attack in the league. With the amount of talent on this team, Gallup definitely included, I’ll chalk it up to “this guy is DUE!” If they want to bury the guy one week after dropping 28 points, I’ll buy that dip at any time. The Giants are vulnerable everywhere, especially deep. They bottled up the short passing game for the Rams last week, so I’ll err on the side of them slowing down Cooper and Lamb this week.


Darius Slayton: Since Week One, Slayton has not been great. This is the ultimate “get right” week against the league’s worst defense in Dallas. We could see the kind of explosion out of Slayton and Co that will roll Mike Nolan right out into the unemployment line (fingers crossed).


Evan Engram: The dead horse, nail in the coffin for this week is that the Cowboys were dead last at defending the tight end position until the Eagles gave up a billion points to Kittle last week. Jason Garrett might be one of the worst coaches in football, but his offense is very tight end friendly, and Engram surprisingly has stayed away from the IR in this season of unwavering pain.

Tyler Higbee eager to show his value at tight end for the Rams - Los  Angeles Times
Photo Credit: Los Angeles Time

Tyler Higbee: He’s back! My favorite guy to stack with Goff this week will be Higbee, who was another casualty of the Rams conservative dud last week and had his touchdown vultured by Gerald Everett. The entire NFC East is abhorrent at defending the tight end position, so we exploit that by attacking them with Higbee, much like we did against Arizona last year.

Starships and Wet Ass Profits

Written By @Bo_McBigTime

10/2/2020

We are approaching the end of the first quarter of the fantasy football season, but aside from projecting saliva droplets harmlessly into our masks, we have sailed through picking DFS values without the cooties shrinking the slate. We have been more preoccupied with sore hamstrings than viruses until now, but there is reason for optimism in the value plays without the Titans and Steelers involved. Last week, NimblewNumbers proudly trotted out some truly meteoric performances vaulting us skyward, just as the wise Nicki Minaj envisioned. I truly pity the poor Amazon drivers in Maryland who were tasked with furnishing Scott’s orders for alligator boots and rhinestone-emblazoned chaps. I spent my more modest earnings on rainbow wigs and bubble wrap (don’t ask). For Week Four, I am driven to earn enough on the DFS slate to buy my wife what she has always wanted: a deluxe herb grinder and a Swarovski crystal water pipe. If not, I’ll feel worse than the guy responsible for keeping Marine One stocked with hand soap. If the first three weeks are any indication, we will be just fine. The forecast in October calls for some mad drip, and we’re here to get wet.

For the people who haven’t been following my weekly lineup builds, there are generally three types of contests that we play on Draft Kings: Cash games, GPP (Tournaments), and Multipliers. Each contest has a unique way to win, so I have devised a strategy for each one that I will stick to when building my ultimately victorious roster. For cash games, the objective is to outscore the majority of your opponents, so a safe floor of volume is the most successful play. In GPP, the kinds of point totals that are required to make money are very high, so we have to focus on upside value compared to the players’ salaries, while also considering his ownership percentage to differentiate our lineup from the hundreds of thousands of other entries. The way I usually attack that is with a game stack, where I fill my lineup with players on both sides of a game I expect to score a lot of points. We’re looking for the starship, so to speak. Multipliers are a hybrid of cash and tournament play, so we employ all of these strategies to hit the pay line above the top 10 percent of the opponents to cash 10 times the entry fee. In those contests, I like to pay up on the best players, and fill in the rest with sleepers who cost very little. Here are examples of all three that I will be playing in Week Four, and hopefully cashing enough to get my daughter an office chair that will help her pay attention better during distance learning.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) during the first half of the NFL AFC Championship football game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Kansas City, MO. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Pay Up On Studs

  • QB: Patrick Mahomes $7,400
  • RB: Alvin Kamara $8,000
  • RB: Jonathan Taylor $6,600
  • WR: DeVante Parker $5,700
  • WR: DJ Moore $5,600
  • WR: Danny Amendola $4,000
  • TE: Jordan Akins $3,300
  • FLEX: Kenyan Drake $6,000
  • DST: Colts $3,300
  • Remaining Salary: $100

I don’t think I will have any lineup builds without Alvin Kamara this week. Hell, I even played him every week for a year and a half in 2017-2018. His floor, upside, and matchup is a must start, regardless of ownership. He is what the kids call, “Hard to tackle.” Mahomes at $7,400 is honestly a steal and I don’t mind playing him naked against the Patriots, since I don’t know who Belichick will scheme out of the game. Taylor is a powder keg of talent, waiting to explode for a massive game. Drake is also looking to silence the doubters against another ideal opponent. Colts DST scores points every week, and I don’t trust Nick Foles at all this week. All of the WRs in this build are value plays, looking to slap 3x without blinking. I mentioned Akins in my preview article this week as a bargain basement TE dart throw. He should be targeted often by Deshaun Watson and the goal is to get 10+ points out of him this week.

Game Stack

  • QB: Matthew Stafford $5,900
  • RB: Alvin Kamara $8,000
  • RB: Jonathan Taylor $6,600
  • WR: Tyler Lockett $7,000
  • WR: Kenny Golladay $6,000
  • WR: DeVante Parker $5,700
  • TE: Adam Trautman $2,500**
  • FLEX: TJ Hockenson $4,800
  • DST: Colts $3,300
  • Remaining Salary: $400

**Jared Cook very questionable in Week Four. If he is out, Trautman is the play.

Lots of eyes will be on the other games on the slate with high expected totals. Saints-Lions really appeals to me as a high-scoring game with the focus mainly on both passing games. Brees’ upside hasn’t been very good this season, especially without his main receiver on the field. Stafford is very affordable and might end up with the most QB points in the league on Sunday. I’m watching the injury report closely for whether Jared Cook is playing. If Cook goes, I will pivot to a lower priced WR/Flex combo and switch out Parker.

Volume Play

  • QB: Cam Newton $6,400
  • RB: Alvin Kamara $8,000
  • RB: Jonathan Taylor $6,600
  • WR: DeVante Parker $5,700
  • WR: DJ Moore $5,600
  • WR: Justin Watson $3,400
  • TE: Darren Waller $5,200
  • FLEX: Joe Mixon $5,800
  • DST: Colts $3,300
  • Remaining Salary: $0

I fully expect a lot of points to be scored in the Patriots-Chiefs game. Since I don’t know who is going to win, I’ll just say I’m taking the over. That means I’m looking to capitalize on Cam Newton’s very high floor in a shootout. If they are running the ball a lot, I see Cam getting work at the goal line. If they are playing catchup, I see Cam throwing it downfield with effectiveness. Watson is a sneaky value with all the injuries at receiver in Tampa and Waller is hungry for a redemption after getting shut down in New England last week. Joe Mixon is the intriguing play for me this week. His volume hasn’t waned at all this season, despite the paltry production. If I pray for some big plays from the talented back, I might get rain. Either way, I don’t feel terrible about his price in a cash game.

Big Splash

Written By @Bo_McBigTime – 10/1/2020

Another solid week of DFS winning is in the books for the NwN crew and our followers! We came in like a fat kid cannonball splash with some sexy plays that put just about everyone involved over the pay line except ME! I cashed some contests for mild numbers, but where Scott and you all stuck to your guns on the top plays and took home grocery money, I got too cute and meddled my lineups to miss the pay line on six contests by less than a point. Of course, that’s what I get for bending my own rules to squeeze in closer to the salary cap (DON’T do that!). I was squarely in the green until Russell Wilson nailed DK Metcalf for his fifth touchdown pass of the game (this helped most of my lineups). Then, if Dak Prescott was to march down and score the game-winning, 40 million dollar touchdown, I would have been streaking through the streets wearing nothing but a lei and a whiskey drink. Instead, he threw an interception to cripple the Cowboys (and my bankroll).

Where was I right? Well, I was dead on predicting the Week Two points chase of Deshaun Watson (18.06), Leonard Fournette (4.2), Melvin Gordon (7.8), Robbie Anderson (10.5), Odell Beckham Jr (9.9), Dalton Schultz (8.8), and Tyler Higbee (8.0). Each one of those guys scored below their projection for the week and would have left a lot to be desired in a lineup build, even though Watson was much better than expected for most of the game. I was also high on value performers Joe Burrow (23.38), Carson Wentz (23.5), Antonio Gibson (15.0), Michael Gallup (28.8!), and Allen Robinson (31.3!). Going after values, understanding that DFS companies use weighted algorithms to determine pricing, is the meat and potatoes of this article. The previous week’s performance priced some of these guys too high for their expected output. Conversely, disappointments from the previous week showed depressed pricing that can be exploited when the matchup and opportunity suggests a breakout performance.

Where was I wrong? Right off the bat, I haven’t been very successful in predicting the tight end position this season. Since I typically spend down quite a bit at tight end, I’m more often than not throwing a dart. I’m terrible at darts. Logan Thomas (7.1) and Drew Sample (1.1) did not get it done in Week Three and hampered me in spots where a few more points would have made a lot more money. I was also joined by the masses in our disappointment for Joe Mixon (8.5) in a smash situation against Philly. 2.8 yards per carry is atrocious, especially against a run defense allowing 5.5 YPC going in. I’ll take my medicine there.

Every week I will offer up two players from each skill position who will not live up to their performance from the previous week, helping build a roster free of players who are priced up, carry over higher ownership from point chasers, and suck away the implied value of their matchup this week.

Tom Brady: The GOAT is coming off a 23.9 point DK performance against a Denver defense that was undermanned. The Chargers secondary is first class, making the sledding and separation on pass plays a lot tougher, especially without Godwin in the slot. His ceiling is definitely capped in this game.

Nick Foles: This might be the clearest example of Fool’s Gold in history. Foles DID throw three touchdown passes and led the Bears to a comeback win after Mitchell Trubisky was finally benched. However, it was the Falcons (who can’t cover anyone) and even then, Foles was not particularly sharp. The Colts defense has been unbelievable against the pass, making this an absolute NO GO on Foles this week.

Rex Burkhead: Hats off to the players who threw Sexy Rexy into their DK tournament lineups last week; you’re apparently a savant who likes playing Patriot running back Roulette. The same here could be said for Sony Michel, who rushed for over 100 yards. Seattle’s run defense suffocated Ezekiel Elliott last week, so the best runner in this offense should return to being Cam Newton.

Devin Singletary: The Bills have looked really strong so far this season. It has been, however, due to the passing game and the breakout from quarterback Josh Allen, not the running backs. Singeltary was flanked only by TJ Yeldon last week with rookie Zack Moss injured. With Moss likely playing, I’m not too keen on rostering Singletary at his elevated price, even against the Raiders’ 32nd ranked defense against opposing RB.

Justin Jefferson: His price isn’t bad, but I wouldn’t put the rookie in anything more than a tournament spot going against Houston’s top ten defense against opposing WR. Rookie receivers are traditionally inconsistent and so is his quarterback Kirk Cousins. In most contests, I’m going with a more steady floor.

Allen Robinson: Another bear trap. I don’t trust Nick Foles at all, especially against such a great pass defense. ARob is a great receiver that has shown himself to be immune to terrible quarterback play, but this isn’t the week to get cute.


Jimmy Graham: By now, you should realize I won’t be rostering any Chicago Bears this week on Draft Kings. Robinson and Graham were on the other end of the spectrum last week against Atlanta. There is a very real possibility they get shut down against Indy this week.


Mo Alie-Cox: Jack Doyle missing time did wonders for MAC the last two weeks, but now he’s priced slightly higher at 3,900 and Doyle is returning to the field. Fade it hard.
Just as we fade guys who won’t carry success over from last week, we can’t ignore smash plays that were less than ideal in their last games. Here are two players from each skill position who struggled last week, but will smash this week and enjoy enhanced value from depressed pricing.

Deshaun Watson: This guy is flat-out impressive. Even in one of the toughest matchups on the slate, he was more than respectable, albeit not scoring a ton of DK points. He goes up against the Vikings this week, who have not enjoyed trying to cover anyone. At $6,600, this might be the biggest ROI on the board.


Baker Mayfield: It has been a forgettable start to the 2020 season for Baker, but the Cowboys have a secondary decimated with injuries and have only generated a pass rush from the reincarnated Aldon Smith. The big shootout potential in this game and a $5800 price tag makes Baker a great tournament play with Beckham, Landry, and Hunt as stackable options.


Kenyan Drake: Last week was supposed to be the smash for Drake, but everyone on my boat was wrong. I’m not willing to let him set sail just yet. I have more faith in him this week than I do with Joe Mixon, so scratch off your tickets wisely. Drake’s price is still fair in an offense that moves the ball so well.


Joe Mixon: I want so badly to believe in this offense. The line is atrocious, but so far Joe Burrow has still been making plays. In watching the tape, the dump-off has been there, but Burrow hasn’t really connected too often with his backfield, instead opting to extend the play and take more hits. I really feel like a little bit of coaching can redirect the attention to Mixon, whose supreme talent with the ball in space can shred a defense like Jacksonville.


DeVante Parker: Last Thursday, Parker wasn’t terrible. He got open regularly, but Fitz wasn’t overly effective getting the ball to him. Plus, the game script favored a heavy dose of the running game to shorten the game with a lead. This is yet another high point total game with good passing games and bad pass defenses. Parker will lead a high volume attack this week.


DJ Moore: I was a big fan of Teddy Bridgewater at Louisville. He was smart, precise, and was a true field general. So far, his NFL stops have called for him to be nothing more than a game manager who doesn’t take risks. This season, he has been looking Moore’s way in spurts but hasn’t quite synced up with the star receiver. Bridgewater has, however, been taking more shots down the field this season, as his ADoT has steadily climbed. DJ Moore will eat this week, but he might break the slate if the chemistry with his quarterback finally clicks.


Darren Waller: I absolutely love it when a stud player lays an egg in a brutal matchup. It sounds strange, but in this case, the stud is Waller. He goes from Belichick scheming how to take him out of the game to Buffalo, who is well-coached but is banged up at the linebacker position and has struggled covering inside receivers so far this season (see Cooper Kupp). I expect Jon Gruden to go back to the well and feature the uber-athletic tight end like he did in Week Two against the Saints, and at $5200 could be a perfect TE/FLEX double-up option.


Jordan Akins: I was not surprised that the Steelers put the clamps on Akins last week. They did the same to Evan Engram in Week One. As with Watson, I expect a huge bounce back for the more athletic tight end (compared to Fells) on the Texans. Minnesota is average against the tight end position, but Watson has trusted Akins in third down and red zone situations more than his wide receivers so far this season. At $3,300 on DK, a 10 point performance is very attainable.

Bring on the Thunder*

*and Make It Rain!

9/25/2020

Written by @Bo_McBigTime

Last week was a resounding success for the NimbleWNumbers crew. My cash lineups were all winners, tournament plays came in at 2x ROI, and even my losing multipliers were barely below the razor-thin pay line. Scott had the big pimp slap victory, with a well-advertised (and deserved) victory lap. The only downside to the windfall from Week Two was maybe wishing the 251 point thing-of-beauty would have been entered into the Milly Maker. Scott is a humble lad, but I’m not sure how strong the WiFi would have been from Tahiti to put out this week’s plays.

Once again, contest selection is ever-important. I like the Power Ball feel of entering a mega GPP, with the financial daydreaming you can drift away on for hours, but I am especially partial to the classic cash game. Doubling my entry simply by being better than slightly more than half the field is so satisfying. Since I’m “all about that action boss,” I’ll also enter some cheap multipliers to get a quick $100 off a $10 entry by placing in the top ten out of 117. Lower risk than GPP, more riches than Cash Games. As with the first three weeks, I will whittle my lineup builds around three frames of thought: Game Stack for GPP, Pay Up on Studs for Multipliers, and Volume Plays for Cash Games. Here is an example of all three for Week Three on the Draft Kings Sunday Main Slate.

Photo Credit: Elite Fantasy

Pay Up On Studs
QB: Dak Prescott $7,200
RB: Dalvin Cook $7,600
RB: Miles Sanders $6,400
WR: DK Metcalf $6,500
WR: Michael Gallup $5,500
WR: Golden Tate $4,500

TE: Jordan Reed $4,000
FLEX: Antonio Gibson $4,700
DST: Chargers $3,600
Remaining Salary: $0


For multipliers, the smaller field allows me to go after highly-owned studs like Dak Prescott and Miles Sanders for the sheer near-certainty they will put up a high score. Spending up on Dalvin Cook is a gut play for me, banking on Cook’s stratospheric upside and price tag related low ownership. Metcalf is a home run play against the Cowboys, but you could also play Lockett in the same spot. Gallup is the desired pairing with Prescott in this format, as competitors are leery of his pedestrian numbers in the first two weeks. He is also due for a huge breakout game, similar to the one Edelman had against the Seahawks last week. With George Kittle ruled out again this week, fire up last week’s GPP darling Reed for a shoo-in 3x+ performance against the pitiful Giants. Gibson’s volume floor has been growing at a constant rate, as has his performance, so I’m looking for him to find the end zone again to boost his value in the Flex. The Chargers should be rostered heavily with the prospect of bottling up a Panthers offense sans CMC.

Photo Credit: MyNorthwest.com

Game Stack
QB: Russell Wilson $7,300
RB: Chris Carson $6,600
RB: Jeff Wilson $4,000
WR: DK Metcalf $6,500
WR: Tyler Lockett $6,400
WR: Michael Gallup $5,500
TE: Jonnu Smith $5,200
FLEX: CeeDee Lamb $5400
DST: Washington $3,000
Remaining Salary: $100

It’s crazy to stack one game so heavily, but with other high total games on the schedule acting like eye candy, we can really lock in on some shootout upside with star players that are very unlikely to be bottled up. Dallas and Seattle both have trouble with pass defense and equally high-powered passing attacks. Russell Wilson or Dak Prescott work in this build. You can also throw in Amari Cooper by saving elsewhere. Jeff Wilson will get enough volume to justify his low price tag against the Giants and was a touchdown vulture with serviceable receiving skills. He is also contrarian against a widely-owned Jerick McKinnon. Jonnu Smith is a GPP player’s dream. Huge upside, volume trending upward, and in a plus-plus matchup this week against the Broncos. Washington will generate pressure on Baker Mayfield and he is obviously a poor quarterback when the pocket breaks down.

Photo Credit: Eagles Wire USA Today

Volume Play
QB: Cam Newton $6,700
RB: Austin Ekeler $6,800
RB: Miles Sanders $6,400
WR: Amari Cooper $6,500
WR: Tyler Lockett $6,400
WR: Julian Edelman $6,200
TE: Drew Sample $3,500
FLEX: Antonio Gibson $4,700
DST: Giants $2,700
Remaining Salary: $100

Cam Newton impressed the hell out of everyone last week. His health is no longer in question, as he was dropping dimes all over the field. This week, he faces a Raiders team whose defense looked decent against the Saints, albeit without Michael Thomas. Newton is the whole offense and I’m pairing him with Edelman for the PPR volume upside. A slightly riskier pick would be N’Keal Harry, who is priced $2K less, but is less of a certainty to produce. Ekeler is going to touch the ball a ton for the Chargers, as will Miles Sanders for the Eagles. Both are facing horrendous run defenses this week. Drew Sample is the darling of Fantasy Twitter. I might throw in some lineups pairing him with fellow rookie Joe Burrow. Giants are not a good defense, but have some upside this week facing a 49ers offense that looks nothing like the preseason program.

Utter Domination

9/23/2020

Written by: Bo McBrayer @Bo_McBigTime

What a sensation! A normal late summer Sunday night usually consists of shamefully shoving Taco Bell in my face so I wouldn’t chew my fingernails into oblivion. This was not the case last Sunday! The players I faded were fading, the ones I featured were exploding, and even my risky plays were doing what I had hoped they would do.

I was wrong about a couple of my fades: Cam Newton was otherworldly against the Seahawks, but he wasn’t on the Main Slate to destroy my day. Russell Gage found the end zone again and even threw a Mohamed Sanu-esque pass to Julio Jones, who promptly dropped it like he was channeling Nelson Agholor. My apprehension to Week One standouts Mitchell Trubisky, Adrian Peterson, David Johnson, Marquez Valdez-Scantling, Sammy Watkins, and Logan Thomas in DFS were all keen in avoiding a dud lineup that loses money. Even Noah Fant was shut out in the first half before scoring a touchdown in the second half against Pittsburgh.


The Week One disappointments that I was looking to bounce back in Week Two were also mostly successful, although the injury bug was not kind to Jimmy Garoppolo or Saquon Barkley, and Chris Godwin entered concussion protocol and was ruled out post-writing. TY Hilton was a miss in a game that featured immense offensive letdowns on both sides. Dak Prescott put up a record-breaking point total, passing for 450 yards and accounting for four touchdowns, including three rushing touchdowns. Austin Ekeler was featured in the passing game much more in Week Two and put together a nice performance with Herbert at quarterback, even with the increased presence of rookie Joshua Kelley. Tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hayden Hurst both found the end zone and showed to be important features of their respective offenses.

Week Three lets us further narrow our scope to identify breakout performers and fool’s gold. With more tape and data, we can build our lineups with confidence and smart aggression. Here are the guys I will not be rostering on Draft Kings, due to price and pitfall risk.


Deshaun Watson: Pittsburgh’s defense isn’t as gnarly against teams with great passing games, but as great as Watson is at the game of football, his receivers are not. Add to that a very strong pass rush from the Steelers met by one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL at pass protection and Watson is going to struggle to put points on the board in this game.

Jared Goff: The Rams have been very efficient on offense so far this season, coming into Buffalo with a 2-0 record and Goff fresh off a thorough beating of a terrible Eagles defense. The Bills are not the Eagles. They are much more equipped to force the Rams into playing one-dimensional and should force Goff to be average at best. He might be a sneaky tournament play, but I won’t be risking it with such a low ceiling.

Leonard Fournette: Yes, Uncle Lenny had himself a game last week. A lot of DFS players will take a flyer at $6200, hoping for similar volume. I am simply not convinced that Fournette will have as much success against the Broncos, nor a consistent floor of volume. Game script and riding the hot hand played a big part in his performance against a putrid Panthers run defense. I’m not buying it this week.

Melvin Gordon: The volume was there for MGIII in Week Two, but his notoriously bad vision was apparent against the Steelers. For his career, Gordon’s yards per carry versus top half run defenses is in the low 3’s. The Bucs are solid up front, making for another 3 point something YPC in the making. There are many better options on the board in the same price range at the position for DFS this week.

Robbie Anderson: Anderson has really impressed me this season. It is very revealing how inept the Jets are in terms of putting talent in the right place. That being said, I expect the Chargers to put the clamps on the Panthers passing game, especially downfield. Without a real running threat, expect Teddy Bridgewater to narrow his sights to shorter routes to avoid turning the ball over. This will be a rough patch of the schedule for Anderson as long as Christian McCaffrey is out.

Odell Beckham Jr: The name carries memories of the best catch in league history, but does not correlate to consistent performances in the last couple of years. Washington doesn’t strike fear into top wide receivers, but they have shown a very good pass rush. Baker Mayfield has been abysmal under pressure so far, so it stands to reason he either won’t target OBJ enough or will commit turnovers trying to force it to him under duress.

Dalton Schultz: Without Blake Jarwin, Schultz surprisingly saw a team-high ten targets and had the lone receiving touchdown in the shootout with Atlanta in Week Two. I have very little hope that this will be replicated against Seattle, who boasts good slot coverage and Jamal Adams, who is on his way to an All-Pro selection at strong safety.

Tyler Higbee: I missed the information last week that Gerald Everett would not be suiting up for the Rams. That piece of information was huge, considering Higbee was now the only tight end running routes for Los Angeles against a Charmin-soft Eagles secondary. Three touchdowns later, I expect plenty of regression against a stout Buffalo defense, especially with Everett off the injury report.

Conversely, here are the guys who may not have put it together in Week Two that I feel are smash plays for Week Three on Draft Kings.

Joe Burrow: He’s for real. The next Joe Cool after Montana was a revelation last week, but wasn’t overly efficient for throwing the ball 61 times. Cleveland gave him short routes to stop Mixon in the run game and there wasn’t much reason to do anything else playing from behind. The Eagles are equally bad against the short passing game and stout enough to bottle up Mixon in a similar fashion. I expect Burrow to take some deep shots and run more like in Week One.


Carson Wentz: Just when you think he’s floundering, the schedule gives Wentz the Bengals. They won’t be able to give Miles Sanders 35 carries to take advantage of the Cincinnati run defense to the degree that the Browns did, but the play action pass will be deadly, and I can see a massive touchdown total in the works for Wentz to flip the narrative back in his favor. I can see shootout written all over this game.

Antonio Gibson: The rookie slash player has looked sharper by the touch at running back this year. As raw as he is, the volume is increasing through his impressive ability to make tacklers miss. This is a play where the $4700 price is lovely, so I will be loading him into lineups just about everywhere to get a safe floor with explosive upside against the Browns.


Joe Mixon: We are ready to see this breakout. Mixon is too talented for the pedestrian
production we have witnessed so far. The Eagles are decent against the run, but I look for Burrow to target Mixon more in the passing game to keep up in a shootout. This type of running back at $5900 is my kind of play.

Michael Gallup: It’s his turn, right? The opportunity has been there so far for Gallup. He made the biggest play in the Cowboys miracle comeback win against Atlanta, getting one cheek down inbounds to set up a touchdown. With Cooper as a primary read, and Lamb in the slot, Gallup is the home run threat. He hasn’t quite been on the same page as Dak Prescott in the early going, but the same thing happened last season. Seattle will challenge the route running and decision making of the Cowboys offense, but the Seahawks gave up some deep shots against New England, mostly by Julian Edelman. Dak is certainly not afraid to throw a 50/50 ball to Gallup, leading me to predict some gaudy upside from him this week.

Allen Robinson: Last week, trade rumors swirled when ARob took down all affiliation to the Bears on social media. He was largely bottled up last Sunday, but will look to exploit an abysmal Falcons secondary. Give me all the ARob volume and upside this week to either increase his trade value or put the rumors to bed.

Logan Thomas: Back in good graces, with a much more savory opponent is the former VaTech quarterback. I faded him last week because of a wretched matchup, but this week he faces a Browns defense that let CJ Uzomah get loose on them. The price is still low on DK, so I’m loading him in like it’s Week One, baby!

Drew Sample: He’s like CJ Uzomah, but with better speed, agility, route-running, vertical leap, and hands. Burrow likes a big target underneath. With more expensive tight ends in questionable health or off the main slate, I’m getting immense value on the Bengals youngster.

I’m Half Sure of Knowing for Certain

9/19/2020

Written by: Bo McBrayer @Bo_McBigTime

I fell short of breaking even last week, by a smidge. There was a pretty decent showing in cash games with the volume lineup featuring the pairing of Cardinals, Kyler Murray, and DeAndre Hopkins. Tournament play was a buzz saw of missing out on the top total of the week in Minnesota, spearheaded by my NorCal homie Aaron Rodgers cutting through the Vikings secondary, all the way to the bone. His heart was heavy, carrying with him the solemn news of lives lost in the Butte County wildfires. I should have known this was another chip, rather than a burden. He, along with Davante Adams, Lazard, and Valdez-Scantling fully exposed a Minnesota defense that also was not keen on slowing down Aaron Jones and Jamal Williams in the running game. The game stack would have included Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen, but I settled for fragments of the Seahawks-Falcons shootout that left me shy of the pay line.

We all learned a lot from the kickoff slate of games. Which teams are a foregone conclusion to compete for the Super Bowl, and which teams’ dreams are already in jeopardy from a rash of hamstring injuries. The Jets are still abysmal and the Cowboys still have enough talent to waste on poor situational coaching. Going into Week Two, I’m attacking the Main Slate on Draft Kings with the same three lineup builds: Pay up for Studs, Game Stack, and Volume-Rich (for Cash Games). For those playing along, these examples should make for a more profitable Sunday and fewer tequila shots to chase the blues away.

Pay Up On Studs

  • QB: Dak Prescott $6,800
  • RB: Derrick Henry $7,900
  • RB: Jonathan Taylor $5,700
  • WR: Amari Cooper $6,300
  • WR: Julio Jones $7,400
  • WR: CeeDee Lamb $4,700
  • TE: Chris Herndon $3,400
  • FLEX: Benny Snell $4,500
  • DST: Cardinals $3,000
  • Remaining Salary: $300

I incorporate a small game stack here with the high total in the DAL/ATL game, but I will have other variations with more guys sprinkled in, not just the top dollar guys. There are still great values on the board that will have moderately high ownership in this build. I will be using this setup for multiplier games.

Game Stack

  • QB: Matt Ryan $6,600
  • RB: Ezekiel Elliott $8,200
  • RB: Ronald Jones $5,200
  • WR: Michael Gallup $5,200
  • WR: Calvin Ridley $6,800
  • WR: CeeDee Lamb $4,700
  • TE: Hayden Hurst $4,600
  • FLEX: Nyheim Hines $5,300
  • DST: Buccaneers $2,900
  • Remaining Salary: $100

With the fireworks expected in the Dallas-Atlanta game, it stands to reason to use this type of game stack for GPP/Tournament play. I also like the RoJo/Bucs DST stack against Carolina, who I see struggling against a better defense than Las Vegas ran out there against them. Another high total I’m using in GPP is Minnesota at Indianapolis, throwing stacks of Cousins/Rivers, with Cook, JT, Hines, Thielen, Campbell, and Hilton. 

Volume Play

  • QB: Kyler Murray $6,100
  • RB: Ronald Jones $5,200
  • RB: Jonathan Taylor $5,700
  • WR: DeAndre Hopkins $7,700
  • WR: Adam Thielen $7,200
  • WR: CeeDee Lamb $4,700
  • TE: Jonnu Smith $4,200
  • FLEX: Raheem Mostert $6,400
  • DST: Rams $2,800
  • Remaining Salary: $0

My cash games are a shoo-in to make money this week. There are some criminally underpriced plays that, regardless of ownership, should smash this week. AJ Brown’s injury puts Jonnu Smith as a potential 4x value, Marlon Mack’s injury makes JT a very chalky 3x+ option. Lost in all of this is Kyler Murray’s inexplicable price drop from the 49ers to the Washington FT after torching San Francisco last week. Pair him with his Bentley of a WR, Nuk Hopkins, and you can deposit this straight to the Caymans. Ram’s defense should feast on the tattered Eagles, whose line was dismantled by Washington’s front seven.

Playing a Different Game – @Bo_McBigTime

9/17/2020

We were playing a different game Sunday. From the winners, that is. Feeling disappointed in the lineups we played isn’t warranted, since just about every player we ran out there was good enough to win…just not this week. We didn’t miss by having duds, but we missed the massive performances that were all over the NFL in Week One. Some of them we rostered but didn’t put enough in the SAME lineup to reap a big victory. Where we rostered the GPP masterpiece of a Murray-Hopkins pairing, we had Ekeler and Chubb or Mixon with mediocre numbers. Where our roster had Jacobs racking up the touchdowns, we were disappointed by Wentz at QB and Kittle or Hurst at tight end. Even the Milly Maker roster that popped off for 180 points this week did not even cash in the slightest, because of the absence of Rodgers-Adams or Ryan-Jones-Ridley. 

Week One was discouraging, but not devastating. We now see the effects of an unusual offseason on certain teams and players, with depth charts shaking out and injuries wiping the bugs off our windshield. Visibility was poor last week from the wildfires in California and the lack of insight into preseason breakout performers. Our contact lenses are in now; we can get down to get the bankroll moving in the right direction.

First and foremost, chasing last week’s points is a terrible strategy if you still don’t consider that player’s opportunity to be any better. Some of the top performers on a given week are not inclined to repeat it any time soon, even if the matchup is favorable. Going after that guy will land you in the bottom of most contests (along with all the other fool’s gold miners). Let me give you some Week One breakouts that I will not be rostered on Draft Kings in Week Two.

Mitchell Trubisky: Mitch was abysmal in the first half against Detroit. It took three Lions DB’s coming up with sore hammies for the whole game to change. The Giants are not world-beaters on defense but weren’t helpless against a strong Steelers passing game. Trubisky might be back on the hot seat after this one.

Cam Newton won't let chain go - al.com
Photo Credit: AL.com

Cam Newton: After last week’s performance, Cam will be on the hearts and minds of many DFS players. For this week against the Seahawks, I say skip over him and wait for that juicy divisional schedule to resume. He was not impressive past his first read in the passing game, even against a Dolphins defense that isn’t very good. The Seahawks will provide a real challenge to the Patriots new scheme.

Adrian Peterson: The future Hall of Famer led the NFL in rushes of 10+ yards in Week One. There’s no reason to call the Packers a good run defense, but there is a very high likelihood that the game script will favor the Lions passing attack, leaving Peterson with high ownership, and low points scored.

David Johnson: Aside from a very impressive touchdown run, 2016 standout David Johnson was only average. He will not be highly owned against the Ravens in Week Two, for good reason. Steer as far away from the entire Texans offense as you can this week.

The Players Fantasy Football Gamers Should Target on Week 2 Waivers
Photo Credit: Player Profiler

Russell Gage: The Falcon offense is powerful. They showed a lot of grit coming back against the Seahawks. Gage was targeted a lot in the second half and was locked in a mismatch, with Jamal Adams focused on Gurley and Hurst. The Cowboys defense lacks any star power in the secondary and will be letting Ryan’s first read come open more often. Gage is still expected to be the fourth or fifth passing option going forward, so managers who chase his Week One might starve waiting for the targets that won’t come.

Marquez Valdez-Scantling: All summer long, we ignored him and chided the Packers front office for not getting Aaron Rodgers some receiver help through the draft or free agency. He only ran 48 routes to Allen Lazard’s 78 but was the benefactor to a perfect deep ball touchdown and another go route where the corner sat down too early in his cover two. Lazard is the clear cut number two receiver for Rodgers, so don’t overvalue a splash from MVS.

Report: Chiefs Want to Keep WR Sammy Watkins Amid Salary-Cap Concerns |  Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights
Photo Credit: Bleacher Report

Sammy Watkins: Sammy Watkins is a gifted talent. He has a long injury history that hampers his value. Plus, he is in a powerful offense that features different breakout players without predictability. Similarly to last season, I will not fall for the narrative that puts Sammy back on the map as a consistent receiver, especially against a talented Chargers secondary. 

Logan Thomas: It seems insane to not target a tight end facing the Cardinals, especially after his performance against the Eagles last week, but that’s where we’re at. After a moderate first half for Kittle last week, the Cards put the clamp on him. I would put a healthy Logan Thomas as equal to Kittle with a knee sprain, so there will be plenty of DFS players crushed by a Thomas play this week.

Noah Fant: Yes, Noah Fant is a stud tight end. He was impressive in his season debut versus the Titans but now faces a tough opponent in the Steelers, who are fresh off a stifling performance of a healthy Evan Engram. In DFS, parallels can be drawn between Engram and the young Fant, which leads me away from the matchup altogether in any contest.

Just as we must avoid the pitfalls of chasing points from the previous week, we cannot get discouraged from plugging guys in whose disappointing performance is fresh in our minds. Here are some guys that stunk it up in their games last week, but will be appearing in my Week Two rosters on Draft Kings. 

49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo plummets in NFL.com's QB Index after Week 1  struggles | 49ers Webzone

Jimmy Garoppolo: Is he a good quarterback? Sometimes. We correctly predicted his struggles against the Cardinals pass rush playing from behind. The Jets are not a good defense, nor are they well-coached by any stretch of the imagination. Expect a pretty loud bounce-back performance from Jimmy G this week, with his running backs playing an explosive role in the passing game once again.

Dak Prescott: Everyone predicted that Dak, along with his triumvirate of talented receivers, would explode out of the gate and be well on his way to the huge payday he’s seeking. Instead, through incredibly poor reads (especially on third down) and play calling at the most extremely conservative end of the spectrum, Dak managed only one touchdown pass. It was a short dump off to Zeke Elliott, who reminded everyone that he is a bad man with the ball. With how explosive the Falcons are on offense, Dak and the Cowboys will have to be more assertive if they want to stay in the game. There will be fireworks in this game.

Austin Ekeler: The Chargers might have shown the worst game plan of any team last week, even in a winning (?) effort. Their defense was predictably stifling, but the offense was rudderless and abandoned all usage of their weaponry from last year. Joshua Kelley was serviceable, but everyone watching was angry that they threw the ball to Ekeler only once. It was apparent that the opportunity was there to get the amazing runner the ball in space, but they refused. When Coach Lynn watches the tape, he will see how pathetic their execution was in the passing game and how easy it would be to run angle, wheel, swing, shovel, and out routes to Ekeler to manage more than 16 points this week against the Chiefs. They will need to keep up. Ekeler had 20 touches, but they were the wrong kind of touches to put him in explosive play situations.

FanDuel bettors lose easy bet after Steelers shut down Saquon Barkley -  Insider
Photo Credit: Insider

Saquon Barkley: I’m not too sure anyone will be too shy about rostering Saquon in DFS, but inevitably, some will question if he is worth the price after rushing for only six yards (!) against the Steelers on Monday night. I’m here to exclaim that he will be among the top performers in the league this week against the Bears, who are fresh off allowing 97-year-old Adrian Peterson to pop five carries over 10 yards. We are still talking about a generational talent in the backfield, licking his chops to prove that last week was nothing but a fluke struggle against a top defense.

TY Hilton: This great-when-healthy wideout was matched in targets by second-year speedster Parris Campbell. Hilton is still the main guy in Indy when he suits up, and Campbell’s success can only contribute to more open looks for the veteran Hilton. If Philip Rivers keeps slinging the ball 46 times, it is a foregone conclusion that Hilton will be a beneficiary. The Vikings looked lost against the Packers last week, which should bode well for a Colts offense with something to prove after falling in Jacksonville.

Chris Godwin: Although not having a terrible showing in New Orleans, Godwin was limited to six catches and without a touchdown, despite Mike Evans being hobbled by a hamstring injury. The Saints corners, especially Marshawn Lattimore, will show to be much tougher to deal with than those from Carolina. Tom Brady should have more time to find his open receivers this week, which means Godwin should be in the running for a big performance.

Hayden Hurst: As with the expectations for Russell Gage to see fewer targets against the Cowboys this week, the Falcons and Matt Ryan should see an easier time finding Hayden Hurst open over the middle and in the red zone. His output was dampened when Jamal Adams was in coverage, but Dallas lacks the man coverage to give Hurst any fits, especially when they will have enough trouble covering Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley

Jonnu Smith: Even though his outing was salvaged by a touchdown, Jonnu was covered tightly and bracketed throughout the night against the Broncos last week. Don’t expect the same ability from a young and inexperienced Jaguars defense. Add in Smith’s YAC prowess, and this could be a massive, slate-breaking performance.

Get On a Heater…From the Jump!

9/9/2020

By Bo McBrayer @Bo_McBigTime

It’s crazy to think we can predict the first week’s breakout players in a year like 2020, absent of those super-meaningful preseason games. I’m only partially saying that in jest; preseason games help coaches set their rosters, shed light on depth charts, and possibly reveal certain player packages. This season, we are at a level of mercy on coach speak that has never been seen before. Beat reporters, often with their fingers square on the pulse of their team’s OTAs, Mini Camps, and intra-squad scrimmages, are now hopping fences and climbing trees with binoculars to get a closer look at how players are faring. Coaches are naturally evasive at pressers, looking to get it over with and avoid revealing any secrets to the outside world.

In redraft and dynasty leagues, managers have their antennae perked during the preseason to any news. How do the rookies look in camp? Are the injuries serious, or is the guy in a walking boot merely as a precaution? Is the guy who disappointed as a rookie turning the corner and finally showing value as a sophomore? 

In DFS, players building rosters live in the NOW. It is very simply creating a maximum value of points to salary. Of course, this will be a Week One of unprecedented uncertainty. That does not mean you, as a casual bettor, cannot wield a powerful sword, in the shape of a formidable roster that maximizes ROI. For Week One 2020 is your chance to bankroll early and get on a heater that you can ride all year. These three unique roster concepts will each actualize a philosophy rooted simultaneously instability and upside. Take a gander!

Newly extended Chargers RB Austin Ekeler reflects on undrafted past
Photo Credit: ESPN

Pay Up for Stud(s)

QB: Lamar Jackson $8,100

RB: Austin Ekeler $7,000

RB: Alvin Kamara $7,200

WR: Marquise Brown $5,100

WR: Terry McLaurin $5,600

WR: Trent Taylor $3,900

TE: Zach Ertz $5,800

FLEX: Zack Moss $4,400

DST: Chargers $2,800

Remaining Salary: $100

This roster is obviously top-heavy with talent at QB and RB but is also not as chalky as it appears on the surface for Week One. We also have a massive upside at WR to plug into GPP play. Taylor is a sneaky good PPR monster with value in a game where Jimmy G will be looking for trusted receivers. I am heavily rostering Chargers DST in Week One. They have a great secondary and will challenge rookie Joe Burrow in his first career start, almost guaranteed to force multiple turnovers.

Calvin Ridley scores first point for Falcons in 2019 | Roll Tide Wire
Photo Credit: Roll Tide Wire USA Today

The Stack

QB: Matt Ryan $6,700

RB: Austin Ekeler $7,000

RB: Josh Jacobs $6,800

WR: Calvin Ridley $6,100

WR: DK Metcalf $5,800

WR: Terry McLaurin $5,600

TE: Hayden Hurst $4,400

FLEX: Laviska Shenault $4,400

DST: Patriots $3,200

Remaining Salary: $100

Stacking for the sake of stacking isn’t that effective most of the time. I usually only stack members of a passing game in a game I expect to be over the total. Atlanta/Seattle is my top expected total of the week, so I’m looking for Matty Ice to chuck the ball at least 35 times. Included in the stack is a member of the opposing passing attack, forming a very nice game stack. Another stacking strategy is an RB going against a poor run defense and stacking with that RB’s DST. Ekeler vs the Bengals excites me, and one could easily pay up a little at flex with the $400 extra dollars saved by going Chargers DST instead of the Patriots.

Terry McLaurin ranked as No. 1 wide receiver in the NFC East
Photo Credit: Washington Wire USA Today

The Volume Play

QB: Kyler Murray $6,400

RB: Dalvin Cook $7,900

RB: Austin Ekeler $7,000

WR: DeAndre Hopkins $6,800

WR: Terry McLaurin $5,600

WR: Scotty Miller $4,000

TE: Chris Herndon $3,300

FLEX: Todd Gurley $6,100

DST: Chargers $2,800

Remaining Salary: $100

Sometimes, especially in Cash Games, I like to fill my entire lineup with guys with extremely high floors of volume. They mostly have a good upside, but if I’m looking to get over a 50/50 payline with ease, I’m not taking as much of a gamble. Kyler Murray showed out in both games vs the staunch 49ers defense in 2019 as a rookie. Plus, he now has a weapon in Nuk with an insane catch radius and can’t really be covered. The Cardinals will be a high passing volume attack again this year and with K1’s rushing upside, I’ll take it to the bank Week One. Cook is the most expensive RB I’ll be playing this week. He averaged 22 PPG in PPR in 2019 before the injury and the Packers can’t stop the run. Throw in people who should be handling the rock a lot, like Scary Terry, Darnold’s buddy, Herndon, and the Falcons only professional RB, Todd Gurley, and it should be a breeze to cash in on Double-Ups and even some multipliers.

________________________________________________________________________

Entry 1 – Everyone Is An Expert Until Week Two

8/30/2020

Bo McBrayer @Bo_McBigTime

Millions of DFS players will flood the lobbies of Draft Kings, Fan Duel, and the like on the
weekend leading up to Kickoff Sunday in the NFL. Undoubtedly, everyone will claim they are the voice of promised riches and that their crystal ball is more Swarovski than everyone else’s. As you may have already surmised, the vast majority of these elbow-patch salesmen will be dead wrong in Week 1, fading
into the hedges like Homer Simpson.

I hate having knowledge of “experts” who won’t even put their own money into their subscriber picks, or are even so scheisty as to lead people to players they are fading to tip the ownership numbers away from their GPP picks. All of these things happen every season. I am here to outright guarantee that I will win (and lose) with y’all every week. I will gloat the winners, lament the bad calls, and cry when things just don’t pan out. Is that so different than the rest of the industry? Not really, but it sure is fun to have skin in the game and simultaneously entertain the casual player DFS player with real world, main street analysis and anecdotal quips on why a guy might be a smash play one week because his wife makes killer biscuits and gravy before home games.

I am primarily a Draft Kings guy, as I prefer full PPR scoring. I’ll still throw out some FanDuel buys if there is enough differentiation in pricing to swing the value proposition. DK has already released Week 1 salaries and opened the contest lobby as of the writing of this article. The key with any investment, whether it is the stock market, dynasty league, redraft, or DFS, is to find the highest ROI factor, identify scarcities, and to not chase those pesky winners from last week. In Week 1, everyone will be on the same guessing game; especially without any preseason games to weed out the coach speak on the depth chart and target shares. The same core principles to follow are solid roster-building, identifying player and game stacks, and forming your roster to end the contest above the pay line. That last one is the most obvious one, but it is often forgotten. Contest selection and understanding how many points will likely need to be scored to cash are my main focus, especially in the opening week, where over-analysis will be rampant. Every team is a championship contender in Week 1, and every DFS player is an expert until after the first week is in the books.

For Week 1, I am targeting these players by position, for Cash Games and
GPP.

Lamar Jackson, 23, signs his first endorsement deal - Baltimore ...
Photo Credit: Baltimore Beatdown

Quarterback
Lamar Jackson ($8,100) vs Cleveland: Of course, Big Truzz will be very highly owned in the Milly Maker and other GPP contests. I wouldn’t necessarily shy away from spending up on him in any contest, especially if I’m stacking him with Andrews and/or Hollywood Brown in a juicy matchup against division rival Cleveland.

Carson Wentz ($6,300) @ Washington: The Washington Football Team (Robert Downey Jr. eyeroll) is abysmal on defense and a rookie pass rusher will not have enough of an immediate impact to slow down a well-oiled attack from Philly. Wentz will not be super highly owned, look for a Ertz stack and even a GPP dart on rookie receiver Jalen Reagor.

Jimmy Garoppolo ($5,800) vs Arizona: This game between the 49ers and Cardinals has sneaky shootout potential. The obvious stack is with Jimmy G and Kittle, but a game stack in GPP with Hopkins or Kirk could be very fruitful if the Cardinals move the ball and score against the Niners as well as they did last season.

Kyler Murray ($6,400) @ San Francisco: Lost in the impressive run by the 49ers last season was how effective the rookie Murray was in the two games against them. San Francisco is down a gigantic rusher in Buckner (trade to Indy)and had some glaring flaws in containing mobile quarterbacks (Murray, Jackson, Mahomes). I expect that to really come into play in this game, especially now that K1 has arguable the best possession receiver in the game now in DeAndre Hopkins.

Photo credit: Yahoo Sports

Running Back
Christian McCaffrey ($10,000) vs Las Vegas: Spend up on CMC at your own risk in GPP. The Raiders defense is not any better than last season, even in their new Vegas digs. CMC will get his points, but roster building around him will be a challenge. He’s the ultimate genesis of a “Studs and Duds” lineup.

Austin Ekeler ($7,000) @ Cincinnati: Ekeler’s ownership might actually be higher than
McCaffrey’s in Week 1, but I am SMASHING this at the price. Value prop is screaming at me for $3,000 less than CMC and a similar points projection.

Josh Jacobs ($6,800) @ Carolina: The Panthers actually drafted ALL defensive players in 2020. This, combined with no preseason and strange offseason, means I’m high on Jacobs in tournaments to get 30 touches and pop some big plays. Many will be looking on the other sideline at McCaffrey in this game for tournaments.

Todd Gurley ($6,100) vs Seattle: Gurley’s knees will never be fresher than in Kickoff Weekend. I expect very low ownership against a Seahawks defense that is given way too much credit for being a good defense. Gurley should be featured early and often, both running and in the passing game. This game will likely be high scoring, and one thing Gurley has always been great at is finding the end zone.

Tevin Coleman ($4,200) vs Arizona: Spending way down on a running back isn’t usually on my radar. I tend to save on my WR or TE dart throw. However, the 49ers run the ball a ton and splits between Coleman and Raheem Mostert won’t be too far from 50/50. Getting a 3x return on value from Coleman is definitely achievable.

Miles Sanders ($6,300) @ Washington: Sometimes, you simply are forced to pick on a terrible defense. The Eagles are an offense that can run up the score and support multiple skill positions in one game. For how many touches Sanders figures to get in this game script, his price is criminally low.

Report: Michael Thomas, Saints Agree to Record 5-Year, $100M ...
Photo credit: Bleacher Report

Wide Receiver
Michael Thomas ($9,000) vs Tampa Bay: This one is obvious. MT is always highly owned (and should be) in PPR contests. The Saints offense is quite the funnel to MT and running back Alvin Kamara, with ancillary routes existing only to get them open. I wouldn’t kick Thomas out of bed in a GPP, but he is a mainstay in a high-floor cash game lineup.

Davante Adams ($7,300) @ Minnesota: Speaking of target funnels, Adams is in a similar place as Thomas, in that most targets are either at him or for the running back Aaron Jones. The Vikings are a solid defensive unit, but now lack a shutdown corner, after the regression of Xavier Rhodes. Ownership will be mitigated by the perception of the Vikings strength on defense.

Chris Godwin ($7,100) @ New Orleans: Yes, his new quarterback is the GOAT. No, the GOAT did not have anyone of Godwin’s caliber to throw to the last few years. What remains to be seen is whether Godwin or Mike Evans will draw Marshon Lattimore in coverage. Since I think Godwin will see more Lattimore, I will load him into GPP hoping for lower ownership than Evans. I have no fear, however, that both will be solid plays. A Brady/Godwin/Evans/Gronk stack in GPP is a fearless plunge into the offseason hype surrounding this “good on paper” attack.

Julian Edelman ($6,000) vs Miami: I hate the Patriots offense in redraft and dynasty. I want no part of it, but in a one week snapshot with PPR scoring against an unproven Miami team, I’m banking on the wily veteran to be a target vacuum for newcomer Cam Newton. I have seemingly never lost a cash game when plugging Edelman in for a good matchup. He’s as good as automatic.

Terry McLaurin ($5,600) vs Philadelphia: Give me all stud wide receivers against the Philly secondary. I expect Washington to be slinging the ball around 40-plus times in this game script, and I highly doubt Darius Slay will be able to contain McLaurin in any regard. Smash City!

Marquise Brown ($5,100) vs Cleveland: Lamar and Company like to run the rock…a LOT. That said, Hollywood is someone low on price that can bring crazy value on ONE play. Give me some of that in GPP to splash a big jackpot.

image-2
Photo credit: abc7news.com

Tight End

George Kittle ($7,200) vs Arizona: Holy Mother of ownership! The Cardinals were the worst defense again tight ends in history last season. They went out and drafted an absolute stud, Isaiah Simmons to remedy that. I’m not biting on this one in GPP, but in cash, absolutely! Kittle is a man beast and cannot be covered one on one. Everyone in tournaments will have him, so if you’re looking for a contrarian play, turn around and go the other way. This ain’t it, Chief.

Zach Ertz ($5,800) @ Washington: Ahhh, the “forgotten” TE1 after missing the end of last season with injury. Before that, Ertz was everything you want his price tag to be. This price and lower-than-usual ownership might only exist in Week 1. Wentz loves going to the tight ends, and Washington should offer very little resistance.

Hayden Hurst ($4,300) vs Seattle: I’m cautiously watching the ownership here. Seattle was pretty dreadful against the tight end position in 2019. I hope I can get the expected value from him without alerting the masses until after Week 1. In GPP, I’ll be loading up on Hurst unless his ownership trends too high.

Greg Olsen ($4,000) @ Atlanta: This is my pivot play for GPP contests if Hurst gets a little too popular leading up to kickoff. I expect a shootout in this game and Russell Wilson has made a star out of much less talent at the tight end position.

Why the Bills 2019 defense ranks among the best in franchise history
Photo Credit: Buffalo Bills

Defense/ST
Buffalo Bills ($3,700) vs New York Jets: This unit is elite. The Jets under Sam Darnold are still unproven and prone to turnovers. I like the improvements the Jets made on the offensive line, but anytime an elite defense faces an offense coached by Adam Gase, I am putting them down in pen.

Los Angeles Chargers ($2,800) @ Cincinnati: Don’t get me wrong, I think Joe Burrow is easily the best QB prospect since Mahomes. It’s just that he’s up against the 8-Ball in Week 1 against the league’s best secondary. Points will be scored in this one, but I think the one thing we can count on is rookie mistakes, i.e. turnovers. At this price, I’m going all in.

Green Bay Packers ($2,600) @ Minnesota: On paper, this doesn’t look like a good matchup. That’s what we’re looking for in a GPP matchup. The Packers defense is better than people give credit for. They will key heavily on Dalvin Cook and the running game. I am not sold at all on Thielen being a stand-alone WR1. He has had issues getting open on the outside, and Cousins has been much maligned for his performances against winning teams.

Indianapolis Colts ($3,000) @ Jacksonville: I am just not sold on Gardner Minshew as a franchise quarterback. He didn’t really rip the job away from Nick Foles last season, Foles lost the job twice. The Colts added DeForest Buckner to an already fierce front seven and, if they can contain DJ Chark, Minshew will really have problems moving the ball down the field. I love this matchup

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