NFL Playoffs NFC Conference Finals Preview

Green Bay Packers vs Atlanta Falcons

Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan are enjoying the rides of their lives, although one quarterback’s impressive run will come to an unceremonious end at the other’s expense. Rodgers has made good on his confident promise to run the table as he powers the Green Bay Packers into Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against the host Atlanta Falcons (Enter Contest).

Rodgers posted a 117.9 passer rating with 21 touchdowns and one interception during his eight-game winning streak. The 31-year-old Ryan (franchise-record 4,944 yards) hasn’t been too shabby in his own right, throwing 14 scoring passes without an interception during Atlanta’s five-game winning streak while his 117.1 passer rating this season was tops in the league and his 38 TDs trailed only Rodgers (40). Ryan’s Falcons got the better of Rodgers’ Packers in the first meeting of the season on October 30, with Mohamed Sanu reeling in the quarterback’s third touchdown pass with 31 seconds remaining in a 33-32 victory.

ABOUT THE PACKERS (12-6)

While Rodgers has been blistering hot, the two-time NFL MVP will need some wide receivers to reel in his passes. Jordy Nelson (ribs), Davante Adams (ankle) and undrafted rookie Geronimo Allison (hamstring) all are nursing injures. Nelson (NFL-best 14 receiving touchdowns) sat out Sunday’s 34-31 victory over Dallas. He’s dealing with a combination of pain tolerance and medical clearance in his decision to play versus Atlanta. Adams (career-best 76 catches, 997 yards and 12 TDs) won’t practice before Sunday’s pregame workout.  Green Bay converted running back Ty Montgomery, who rushed for two touchdowns in the first half against the Cowboys, easily could provide an increased presence in the passing game should Adams or Allison sit out. Receiver Randall Cobb has gotten healthy with five touchdowns in his last five playoff games.

ABOUT THE FALCONS (12-5)

All-Pro wideout Julio Jones insists he expects to play in the NFC title game despite sitting out his second straight practice on Thursday. He’s been bothered by a toe injury in Saturday’s 36-20 victory over Seattle that has plagued him since Week 13. Jones is the NFL second-best in receiving yards with 1,409. Sanu had nine receptions for 84 yards to go along with his touchdown in the earlier contest versus the Packers. Fellow wideout Taylor Gabriel also found the end zone in that tilt. He has five TDs in his last seven games overall. Atlanta (NFL-best 540 points) has scored a touchdown on its first possession in each of its last seven games.

Posted in NFL

NFL Playoffs Conference Championships

A road team was finally victorious in the post-season, but that doesn’t mean the results of last week’s divisional round have taken away any of the appeal to either of the NFL playoffs conference championships matchups (Enter contest). In fact, the outcomes have left us with a pair of regular-season rematches featuring the league’s two hottest teams taking on its two most dominant teams in the regular season for the right to play in Super Bowl LI.

NFC Championship

The NFC Championship Game features Green Bay, winners of eight in a row, against Atlanta. The Packers are coming off of a thrilling, last-second 34-31 win in Dallas over the top-seeded Cowboys, while the Falcons are fresh off of a 36-20 dismantling of the Seahawks. Aaron Rodgers (21 TDs, 1 INT over last eight games) has been playing at an MVP level the past two months, but the award could end up going to Matt Ryan. The first-team All-Pro threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s win over Seattle, and he hasn’t been intercepted since early December.

AFC Championship

New England had little trouble dispatching of Houston 34-16 last week and Sunday will be Tom Brady’s 11th conference championship game, the most of any player in NFL history. To make it to a record-breaking seventh Super Bowl, Brady and the Patriots will need to beat a red-hot Pittsburgh team that has already won in a hostile environment. The Steelers made it nine wins in a row after outlasting Kansas City 18-16 in Arrowhead Stadium last week. Le’Veon Bell has been a beast (NFL-record 337 rushing yards in first two career playoff games) thus far, but Pittsburgh will need Ben Roethlisberger (8:9 TD-to-INT ratio since Week 13) to play better than he has lately.

Overview

These teams already have some familiarity with each other, as Atlanta beat Green Bay 33-32 in Week 8 at home on a late touchdown pass from Ryan to Mohamed Sanu. Ryan and Rodgers combined for 534 passing yards and seven scores in the high-scoring affair. New England defeated Pittsburgh 27-16 at Heinz Field in Week 7, behind a 127 rushing yards and two touchdowns from LeGarrette Blount. However, Roethlisberger didn’t play because of a knee injury and the Patriots’ leading receiver that day was Rob Gronkowski, who went on injured reserve (back) in December.

Posted in NFL

NFL Playoffs Divisional Round Recap

There was no shortage of surprising wins and dramatic wins during the 2017 NFL Playoffs Divisional Round. Before moving forward to next week Conference Finals (Enter contest), here’s what happen this weekend.

Seattle Seahawks vs Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan may be 0-4 in the playoffs against all other teams, but he is 2-0 versus the Seattle Seahawks. Ryan, building off a spectacular regular season, threw for 334 yards and three touchdowns and the Falcons lived up to their billing as the highest-scoring team in the NFL with a 36-20 victory Saturday at the Georgia Dome.

Houston Texans vs New England Patriots

It wasn’t an artistic success, but it was enough for the New England Patriots to return to the AFC title game for a record sixth straight time. Bill Belichick’s team moved on with a 34-16 victory over the Houston Texans in the divisional playoff game on Saturday night.

Green Bay Packers vs Dallas Cowboys

The score was tied with 35 seconds remaining to this game and the ball at the hands of Aaron Rodgers. The rest, as they say, was history. The NFL’s hottest quarterback put the Green Bay Packers in position to advance to the NFC Championship and kicker Mason Crosby did the rest, booting a 51-yard field goal at the final gun to beat the Dallas Cowboys 34-31 Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Kansas City Chiefs

It’s not the type of performance that wins many games in the NFL playoffs. Going for 60 minutes without a touchdown generally leads to a sorrowful end to postseason hopes. At least it did until Sunday night at Arrowhead Stadium. The Pittsburgh Steelers did not score a touchdown, yet won the AFC divisional round game against the Kansas City Chiefs 18-16.

Posted in NFL

NFL Playoff Game

New York Giants vs Green Bay Packers Preview

Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers proved to be a man of his word when he told reporters that the Green Bay Packers were capable of running the table to secure a NFL playoff game. Six straight wins led to the eighth straight postseason appearance for Green Bay, which looks to remain on the fast track when it hosts the New York Giants on Sunday in an NFC wild  card matchup at Lambeau Field (Enter  contest).

Rodgers tossed 15 of his NFL-best 40 touchdown passes during the Packers’ winning streak. The 33-year-old recorded his second straight four-TD performance in Sunday’s 31-24 victory over Detroit, securing the NFC North title for his team and conference Player of the Month honors to boot. While Green Bay has been a staple in the playoffs, New York is making its first postseason appearance since it posted a victory over the Packers in the divisional round of the 2011-12 playoffs en route to upending New England in Super Bowl XLVI. Eli Manning, who has won eight of his last nine playoff starts, completed just 18-of-35 passes for 199 yards in a 23-16 loss to Green Bay on October 9.

ABOUT THE GIANTS (11-5)

The flashy Odell Beckham Jr. (NFL third-best 101 receptions for 1,367 yards) and fellow wideout Victor Cruz were quick to dismiss Monday’s celebrity-filled off-day trip to Miami rather claiming that it was any sort of distraction heading into the playoff game. Beckham had five receptions among his team-high 12 targets and found the end zone in the waning moments of the first meeting with the Packers. Cruz, on the other hand, was held without a catch. Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week after reeling in two of his NFL second-best six interceptions in a 19-10 victory over Washington on Sunday.

ABOUT THE PACKERS (10-6)

Jordy Nelson recorded one of his NFL-best 14 touchdowns this season against the Giants. But Randall Cobb won the reception battle the last time around with nine receptions for 108 yards. The speedy wideout participated in both practices this week after missing the last two games with a left ankle injury. Fellow wide receiver Davante Adams, who also had a highlight-reel TD grab versus New York in the first meeting, had two touchdowns against the Lions last week and has five scoring receptions in his last five games at home.

Posted in NFL

Green Bay Packers vs Philadephia Eagles Preview

The early-season hype surrounding rookie Carson Wentz has quieted down, but the whispers are growing louder around two-time MVP Aaron Rodgers’ inability to stop his team’s maddening slump. Both quarterbacks will be trying to keep their teams in the playoff chase when Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles host Rodgers and the sliding Green Bay Packers on Monday night (Enter Contest).

The Eagles have dropped five of seven since No. 2 overall draft pick Wentz led them to a 3-0 start, slipping into last place in the NFC East. Still, the Eagles are right on the heels of division rival Washington (6-4-1) for the final playoff spot in the conference and also own a 4-0 record at home, including victories over Atlanta and Minnesota in their last two at Lincoln Financial Field. The Packers are in the midst of a spectacular four-game slide during which they have allowed a staggering 153 points.

ABOUT THE PACKERS (4-6):

Following narrow losses to Atlanta and Indianapolis by a combined six points, Green Bay’s defense has been carved up for 89 points by Tennessee and Washington in the first two stops of its three-game road trip. The Packers have failed to force a turnover in three of the last four defeats. Green Bay is hopeful that Christine Michael, claimed off waivers from Seattle, will be ready to bolster a sagging running game with a full week of practice. Rodgers continues to put up solid numbers with 15 TD passes and three interceptions in his last five games. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson, who sat out last season with a knee injury, leads the NFL with nine TD catches. The Packers have won four of the last five meetings, including a 53-20 rout at Philadelphia two years ago.

ABOUT THE EAGLES (5-5):

It’s hardly a surprise that Wentz has been unable to sustain his hot start, given the dearth of playmakers at wide receiver and a spotty running game. Wentz threw seven touchdown passes against one interception in his first four games, but those numbers have changed with four scoring tosses and six picks in the last six contests. Wentz has thrown for more than 238 yards just once in his last seven games, with wideout Jordan Matthews his favorite target with 53 receptions and three touchdowns. Matthews has four TD receptions in his last six home games and recorded 107 yards and a score versus Green Bay in 2014. Ryan Mathews rushed for a season-high 109 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Atlanta on November 13, but he injured his knee in last week’s loss at Seattle and is not expected to play. Philadelphia has surrendered only 38 points in its four home games.

Posted in NFL

NFL Divisional Round Value Picks

Quarterback

There are no locks at quarterback in the Divisional Round with strong pass defenses and questionable starts.  The weak link in pass defense for the weekend is Pittsburgh.  They have one of the weakest pass defenses in the league, and have only made it this far with their explosive offense (mostly just the Big Ben and Antonio Brown connection).

However, there are question marks on the other side of the ball as well.  Peyton Manning has won back his starting job this game but if things go south for him, an early substitution could be made.  I personally have faith in the sheriff, he wants to leave the league on a high note and with this favorable matchup, he may be one of the best picks this week.  He comes at a bargain too as the cheapest quarterback for the week (Landry Jones and Brock Osweiller come cheaper if either of them end up starting).  However, there is the possibility Roethlisberger plays minimal minutes and in the hands of Jones, the Steelers don’t stand a chance.  If this ends up being a blowout early it could mean a lot of carries for Anderson and Hilman and Mannings numbers paying the price.

Although Roethlisberger was able to deconstruct this defense last time around in the regular season, his health is in question and it is not guaranteed he will even start.  We have seen the huge numbers Big Ben can put up against any defense, but I don’t think this will be his week.

The next chance for a shootout is Packers and Cardinals.  Vegas has this one rated as the highest scoring with an Over Under of 50, -7 point win the Cardinals favor.  An argument could be made either way on this one.  Aaron Rodgers has been here before and knows what he needs to do.  Plus the Packers looked great last weekend against the Redskins.  However, the Cardinals are not the Redskins, and we have not seen the Packer’s perform very well this year against a sound defense.

The playoff experience of Rodgers is exactly what Palmer is missing.  He has played one playoff game in his career (two if you count the quarter he played before leaving the game with a shoulder injury).  My take on it, experience is overrated, football is football.  If this were the Super Bowl then experience may take a role, but in this round, I think Palmer will continue to perform as he has all season—Very Well.

RunningBack

The other two matchups have the potential to go either way.  The top ranked matchup between Seattle and Carolina could be a high scoring shootout or a defensive battle, the only thing you can bet it won’t be is a blowout in either direction.  Marshawn Lynch is set to make his return this week (although that was the word last week as well).  With his questionable health and the matchup, I think you avoid Seattle running backs completely.  The same can be said about Jonathan Stewart,  although drastically different in running style, if Adrian Peterson can’t get any yardage against the Seahawks, I don’t expect anyone to.

Like I mentioned earlier, CJ Anderson should get plenty of carries.  I think he is the best pick of the weekend.  James White also should be a good value as well.  Tom Brady and the Patriots won’t make the same mistakes as the Texans last week.

Wide Receiver

The top picks at receiver should be Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders no matter who is playing at quarterback.  They will pay the price as well though if Denver gets ahead early and focuses on the running game.  Both of these receivers however have great synergy with both Manning and Osweiller and last time against the Steelers DT had 2 touchdowns while Sanders had well over 100 receiving yards and a touchdown.

The Cardinals receiver squad should be able to generate some good value this weekend as well.  In the playoffs it will be all Larry Fitzgerald who brings the experience that Palmer lacks.  In his 2008 playoff run he averaged 130 receiving yards per game in the 4 playoff games and had 7 receiving touchdowns.  That has to be on par with the most impressive individual postseason performance of all time.

 

Posted in NFL

Green Bay Packers versus Arizona Cardinals NFL Playoffs Fantasy Picks 1-16-2016

 

The NFL Divisional Round of the playoffs will feature in prime time the Arizona Cardinals hosting the Green Bay Packers. Fantasy football draft managers can tune to NBC TV on Saturday January 16th at 8:15PM Eastern Time to track the results of their one day real money leagues.

 

This is a rematch of the regular season meeting between these teams back on December 27th. It was all Arizona as they crushed the Packers 38-8 at home. The Cardinals got a great performance on both sides of the ball. Carson Palmer passed for 265 yards with two touchdowns and a pick. It was a three headed monster for the Cardinals running game as they rushed for 121 yards. The Arizona defense had a fantastic game by limiting the Packers to just 178 yards and registered nine quarterback sacks.

 

Arizona is on a bye week as the number two seed in the playoffs. They possess the number one rated offense in the NFL as they gain 408 yards per game. They average 30.6 points per game which is second best in the league. The Cardinals has been outstanding on the defensive end as they limit opponents to 321 yards per game.

 

Green Bay is only the 25th ranked passing team in the NFL. They have not been able to overcome the injury of wide receiver Jordy Nelson. The Packers defense has performed well as they sit sixth best in the league in pass defense by giving up 227 yards passing per game. They went 0-2 to close out the regular season scoring just eight points at Arizona and 13 points at home to Minnesota to close the regular season. The team improved off those two dull efforts with the 35-18 road victory in the NFC Wildcard game last week against the Washington Redskins. The Packers moved the football on the Redskins defense for 210 yards passing and two touchdowns thrown by Aaron Rodgers with 141 yards rushing. The difference in the game came in the red zone. Green Bay was 4 of 5 while Washington was 1-4. That is a huge swing as the Redskins were able to move the football through the air in the passing game with Kirk Cousins passing for 329 yards. Arizona is better in the red zone in scoring and defending than the Washington Redskins. The Cardinals would be the preferred playmaker choices from this playoff meeting.

 

Green Bay Packers QB:

 

Aaron Rodgers

 

The Packers wide receivers have been graded by NFL scouts as being the slowest off the line of scrimmage of any unit in the league. It will be hard to hear the snap count for Green Bay at a noisy Cardinals stadium in this playoff game. In the playoff win last week at Washington Rodgers completed 58.3% of his throws for 210 yards with two touchdowns. He has touchdown passes in ten straight games and he has thrown for multiple touchdowns in six of ten games. Pass protection will be vital in this game for Green Bay as Rodgers took nine sacks last times these two teams met.

 

Green Bay Packers RB:

 

Eddie Lacy

 

Lacy is splitting carries with James Starks. That does not offer fantasy value. Last week Lacy had 12 carries for 63 yards and a touchdown for 5.3 yards per carry. But the issue is Lacy is receiving an average of only 12 carries over his past four games.

 

Green Bay Packers WR:

 

James Jones

 

The veteran wide out for the Packers has caught 50 balls for 890 yards with eight touchdowns. Jones had seven grabs last week for Green Bay for 81 yards. In Week 17, Jones had 102 receiving yards with four catches.

 

Arizona Cardinals QB:

 

Carson Palmer

 

The veteran quarterback for Arizona is coming off an outstanding regular season. He has been injury free starting all 16 games. Palmer is completing 63.7% of his passing for 4671 yards with 35 touchdowns and 11 picks. The yardage and touchdown passes are all career highs.

 

Arizona Cardinals RB:

 

David Johnson

 

The Cardinals have been hit hard with injuries to their running back position. Johnson has 125 carries for 581 yards with eight touchdowns and 4.6 yards per carry average. He had a three touchdown performance at Philadelphia in Week 15.

 

Arizona Cardinals WR:

 

John Brown

 

Brown is a big play receiver for the Cardinals. He has caught 65 passes for 1003 yards and seven touchdowns with 15.4 yards per catch average.

 

NFL Playoffs Real Money Football Fantasy League Picks

 

QB: Carson Palmer (Cardinals)

RB: David Johnson (Cardinals)

WR: John Browns (Cardinals)

Posted in NFL

Green Bay Packers versus Washington Redskins NFL Playoffs Fantasy Picks 1-10-2016

 

The final Wildcard playoff game of the weekend will feature the Washington Redskins hosting the Green Bay Packers. NFL fantasy football draft GM’s can tune to FOX at 4:40PM Eastern Time on Sunday January 10th to track the results of their one day league roster picks.

 

Green Bay has had an up and down season. They have had trouble trying to adjust to life without Jordy Nelson who has missed the entire season with a knee injury. The Packers receivers have been clocked by NFL scouts to be the slowest off the line of scrimmage in the league. That explains the issues the team has had with their lack of scoring and 25th ranked passing attack in the NFL. This will be the third straight playoff team that the Packers have faced. They lost the previous two as they scored just 8 points at Arizona and only 13 at home for the NFC North division against the Minnesota Vikings.

 

The Washington Redskins at 9-7 were champions of a weak NFC East division on the year. They closed strongly winners of four straight games scoring 34 or greater points over their past three contests. The Redskins have faced soft competition down the stretch facing non-playoff teams in their past six games. They traveled to Carolina on November 22nd and were beaten 44-16. Washington had the 11th ranked passing attack in the league and the 28th overall defense. The Redskins are 25th against the pass and 26th against the rush. They can move the football and their field goal kicker Dustin Hopkins has made 25 of 28 picks and has been successful on 39 of 40 extra point attempts.

 

Green Bay Packers QB:

 

Aaron Rodgers

 

Rodgers is greatly hampered by his slow footed receiving corps. But he is a sly veteran who has the ability to make plays with his feet. He will not be afraid to run the football because the time to take high risks with running is in the playoffs. For the year Rodgers has completed 60.7% of his passes which is a career low as a starter. He threw for 3821 yards with 31 touchdowns and 8 picks. His 344 rushing yards is his second highest total in his career.

 

Green Bay Packers RB:

 

Eddie Lacy

 

The veteran running back is sharing carries with James Starks. The injury report lists that Lacy is dealing with rib injury and will play on Sunday. In his past three games he has rushed a total of 36 times for 117 yards which averages out to just 3 yards per carry. He has just two rushing touchdowns since Week 2.

 

James Starks

 

Starks has rushed 148 times for 601 yards with two touchdowns. He is rushing for 4.1 yards per carry just like Lacy. These two Packer backs shares carries. The Packers running back has had less than ten carries in six of his past seven games. It is tough to back any of the Packers running backs in this spot. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Aaron Rodgers ends up being the leading rusher in this game since both Lacy and Starks shares carries.

 

James Jones

 

The veteran wide out leads the Packers with 50 catches for 890 yards with eight touchdowns. Jones is averaging 17.8 yards per carry and has the ability to make big plays especially if Rodgers decides to run the football in this game. James Jones is a fantasy pick for this game because he could be a huge beneficiary for big plays with Rodgers scrambling and giving the Redskins secondary a threat to run.

 

Washington Redskins QB

 

Kirk Cousins

 

The Redskins signal caller has completed 69.8% of his passes for 4166 yards with 29 touchdowns and 11 picks. Washington faced only two playoff teams the entire season and lost both games by 17 or greater points scoring an average of 13 points per game. Pass on Cousins.

 

Washington Redskins RB:

 

Alfred Morris

 

The Redskins run game has been inconsistent throughout the year. Alfred Morris has 202 carries for 751 yards with only a single touchdown. Not a good sign inside the red zone. That’s why the play from the Redskins will be on their placekicker and their tight end.

 

Washington Redskins TE:

 

Jordan Reed

 

Reed leads the Redskins with 87 catches for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns. Look for Reed to get targeted in the red zone. He has seven catches or greater in three of his past four games.

 

NFL Playoff Real Money Football Fantasy League Picks

 

QB: Aaron Rodgers (Packers)

WR: James Jones (Packers)

TE: Jordan Reed (Redskins)

K: Dustin Hopkins (Redskins)

Posted in NFL

NFL Wild Card Value Picks

Quarterback

With a small slate of games this weekend you’re quarterback choices are limited. So let’s run through the matchups. Houston and Kansas City has all the makings of a low scoring game. These are two defensive dominated teams and this matchup should be low scoring and slow paced, not places of high value for Fantasy NFL contests. Same can be said about Minnesota and Seattle. While Seattle’s offense is explosive, we saw what they did against the strong defensive front of the Cardinals last weekend, I’m saving my quarterback pick for an easier matchup.

The weakest pass defense of the weekend is by far the Steelers, but with the Bengals current quarterback situation, its hard to say anything for sure. In all likelihood AJ McCarron will be taking the field, but there is the small chance Andy Dalton will return for the game. Either way, they both should be able to provide great value with this matchup, just make sure you keep your eye on the injury report and you get the right one in.

Although the Bengals have a strong pass defense, it seems like nobody is able to stop Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown this year. I expect them to have a big game, but I also expect ownership to be very high on these two, so I’m playing the contrarian strategy and avoiding the Steelers stack.

Last we have Washington and Green Bay. This has all the makings for a classic shootout and I think there will be value on both sides of the ball. Aaron Rodgers has been very subpar this entire season, but he has been to the playoffs before and I think he will perform. Kirk Cousins on the other hand has been red hot and putting up big numbers, and that does not look to be stopping anytime soon. You’re probably going to find lower ownership with Rodgers so I’ll give him the edge in a tournament, but based on his performance this year, that may be a risky play.

Running Back

Our premium running backs for the week are Adrian Peterson, Deangelo Williams, Marshawn Lynch, Jeremy Hill, Characandrick West, and Eddie Lacy. As of now Williams looks to be out for this weekend so lets rule him out now (even if he were playing I don’t love the matchup). Marshawn Lynch will be returning but with the offensive efficiency of the Seahawks lately, its hard to say they will need to make much use of him so I am staying away from Beast mode as well. The Vikings may find it hard to pass against the dominating defense and will certainly run the ball a lot to Peterson, but he has not been as dominant this year as in years past and the Seahawks may shut him down. West as well is facing a tough defense, especially recently, so my recommendation is stay away from any Chiefs back.

So we are left with Hill and Lacy, both on the cheap end as far as premium running backs go. The way the Bengals use Hill and Bernard is very dependent on the matchup. They utilize Hill to run the ball up the middle while Bernard is valued more highly for his speed in screen passes and short drops. This matchup may be better for Bernard than Hill, and Bernard comes at a much cheaper price. Not a bad pick for this week. Lacy is the only premium back I like for this week. Like Hill, he could take a backseat position to Starks but I think Lacy has asserted himself as the primary back after early struggles in the season.

If you are looking for value at Running back however, there is a lot to be found. Starks and Bernard, as previously mentioned, will both only cost you less that $4000 on Fanpicks. Alfred Morris and Pierre Thomas both are a threat to accumulate fantasy value with their run and pass threat. The real value pick of the week is Jonathan Grimes, who put together a big game last weekend and comes at only $2700.

Wide Receiver

The same analysis on Quarterbacks applies to receivers as well. We want to stick with the good matchups: Steelers/Bengals and Packers/Redskins. Skipping out on Antonio Brown may just cost you a win, but I think there is more upside potential on fading Brown, especially for NFL Daily Fantasy Tournaments type contests. AJ Green should be able to put up some big numbers this week regardless of who gets the starting position at Quarterback.

I also like Desean Jackson or Pierre Garcon if you are looking to save a little money at the position. We know Cousins is going to throw the ball and we know he is going to throw it a lot. He may throw a couple interceptions but that doesn’t hurt his fantasy value too bad. It all just depends on which receiver can manage to get open between these two and Reed.

A good contrarian stack is Rodgers and either Cobb or Jones. They haven’t done much this year and are not on many people radar, but like I said before, the Packers know the playoffs. Cobb should get more targets but Jones is more of a long threat. The choice is up to you, I’m going Cobb.

Tight End

For me, the viable tight ends for this week are Jordan Reed and Tyler Eifert. While you can make the argument for Heath Miller and Richard Rodgers, I think you will find much more value with Eifert and Reed. Reed is an obvious pick as he has had some very big games lately and is arguably the top tight end in the league. However, that also means he is going to come with a high ownership level, bad news for a tournament play.

That’s why I’m going with Eifert. I can’t stress enough how weak Pittsburgh is against the pass as all of their games end up turning into a shootout. Eifert will especially benefit if Dalton returns this weekend as there is usually great synergy between the two.

Posted in NFL

Wild Card Stacks to Look Out For

Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger

STAY AWAY FROM THIS STACK. At least for tournaments. This has been the most valuable stack all this year and in most likelihood, will be the best stack this weekend as well. But everybody is thinking that, and I expect the ownership on both of these players to be upwards of 50 percent. For those of you who aren’t DFS experts out there, high ownership is a bad thing. Think about it this way. If you stack the Steelers, just like all of your opponents, and they do well, then your still on the same level as 80 percent of your opponents and not guaranteed to win much money. However, if they have a bad game and you avoid that stack, they you are already ahead of 80 percent of your opponents and in the running to win some big money. So take my advice here, and avoid the Steelers if you are playing in a tournament type of contest.

Kirk Cousins and Jordan Reed

This may be another highly owned stack, not quite as high as the steelers but Reed and Cousins have shown how dangerous they can be together with multiple games this season with 2 receiving touchdowns by Reed. The Skins are facing the struggling Packers as well. Cousins’ aggressive play gives him a very high fantasy upside.

Aaron Rodgers and James Jones/Randall Cobb/Richard Rodgers

Its hard to figure out who is going to be Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target each game. From week to week it can be any of the three, personally, I give the edge to James Jones since he always seems to get the long balls and red zone threats. Nobody is expecting much from Rodgers after a lackluster season so far but he has been here before, and he will show up for the playoffs. This is my favorite stack for the weekend, you just have to decide for yourself which receiver you think is going to get the targets.

Alex Smith and Jeremy Maclin

This stack could be valuable as the synergy between these two has been very solid as of late. Maclin seems to have taken over as Smith’s favorite receiver. However, facing the Houston defense may be a difficult task and it seems like the Chiefs have taken on a run first offense. You can guarantee the ownership will be lower on this stack than most other stacks so there is a high upside, but the matchup is not great. If you are entering multiple lineups, maybe throw this stack in one of them and roll the dice.

Posted in NFL

Week 16 Start or Sit Advice

 

By: Aldo Panessidi

 

All I Want for Christmas Is a Fantasy Football Championship

This week Fanpicks.com provides you with our winning fantasy football lineup advice.  We have designed the RotoPicker a powerful lineup optimizer tool… to help you create the winning lineups.

Quarterback

Start ‘Em

Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars at New Orleans Saints

Consider yourself gifted this week if you were lucky enough to pick up and ride Bortles to your championship. Well this gift just keeps on giving as the Jags take on the Saints and their NFL worst defense. Bortles is now over 3,800 yards on the season to go with 31 TDs. He has firmly put himself into the top tier of QBs in his second year. The young Jags QB has now pushed himself up to the 4th ranked QB in fantasy points on the season and should add significantly to that in week 16.

Sit ‘Em

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers at Arizona Cardinals

If he helped get you to the finals you need to stick with Rodgers, but there are concerns here. He’s thrown less than 220 yards in four of his last five games and hasn’t thrown more than two TDs since week nine. Rodgers is in the midst of a down year so relying on him for elite performance is not a good idea in your final. Arizona’s defense is very good overall and top 10 against QBs in fantasy points allowed. The loss of Tyrann Mathieu will hurt, but the Cardinals are still a quality unit and have the ability to shut an offense down. This looks like another difficult week for the Packers. Still, I’d hate to bench him then watch the old Rodgers emerge for a shootout in Arizona. I almost feel like recommending a sit for Rodgers could trigger him to break out of this slump.

Honorable Mention

I think it’s safe to say that you should bench Matt Ryan against Carolina if possible. His 224 yard performance that included a fumble and a pick against the same team two weeks ago suggests this is not going to end well for Atlanta. Don’t think about getting cute in daily games with the likes of A.J. McCarron, Case Keenum, or Brock Osweiler. Each one faces one of the top three defenses in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks.

Running Back

Start ‘Em

Denard Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars at New Orleans Saints

It looks like Robinson is in line for another start this weekend against the Saints with T.J. Yeldon missing practice while wearing a knee brace. Throw away last week’s 28 yard performance and rest easy in the fact that he gets an even worse defense to exploit this week. Robinson is a speed back so you are somewhat reliant on him breaking runs for long chunks of yardage. Last week he didn’t get away from the defense, but I would expect him to have multiple shots at ripping a long TD run in week 16.

Karlos Williams, Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys

Williams will continue to add to his impressive rookie campaign this week with LeSean McCoy again missing time. Williams has a juicy matchup against Dallas, now allowing over 118 rushing yards a game. With the Cowboys offense unable to put points on the board expect the Bills to control this game on both sides of the ball leading to positive game flow for the Bills and Williams. Mike Gillislee has some role, but anything more than spot duty would be unexpected as long as Williams is healthy.

Sit ‘Em

Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks

Traveling to CenturyLink Field to face the Seahawks during a hot streak is not something any running back wants to do. They have allowed less than 50 yards to RBs in each of their last five games and get to play with the 12th man at home. Gurley has been a dichotomous enigma of a back this year. He’s looked like the next Adrian Peterson at times and then the next week averages two yards a carry. Take his last four game’s rushing totals for example; 19, 41, 140, 48 yards. Rather than this being Gurley’s fault it’s likely that the Rams lack of flexibility on offense has allowed teams to key on Gurley to shut him down. Unless he gets lucky and breaks one, this looks more like one of those 48 yard games for the talented young running back.

Honorable Mention

Could Ameer Abdullah possibly put up two good games in a row? He’s facing the 49ers at home and might be an intriguing dart throw in a tournament. This week projects as another James White week over Brandon Bolden/Joey Iosefa against the Jets. DeAngelo Williams has another tough day ahead traveling to Baltimore.

 

Wide Receiver

Start ‘Em

DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles

After missing much of the season Jackson has brought fresh legs to the ‘Skins along with four scores in the last five games. The Eagles are nowhere close to decent against the pass and look very susceptible to a couple big plays against Washington. While Jackson has a history of being hit or miss, he’s the big play guy that could dial up a couple long TDs in this one. He’s a tournament option due to volatility, but has a huge ceiling based on the matchup.

DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins vs. Indianapolis Colts

Parker showed up again last weekend after disappearing in week 14. He’s now had totals of 80, 63, 16, and 87 yards with two TDs in the last four games. Parker is getting himself targets and has flashed some of the potential that led to him being a first round draft pick. This week if Vontae Davis is asked to shadow Jarvis Landry it could mean Parker is in line for a bunch of targets. I could possibly even see a “breakout” game if he is able to pull in a high percentage of the throws that go his way.

Sit ‘Em

Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks vs. St. Louis Rams

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end. Baldwin has put up a whopping ten TDs over the last four games, an impressive feat for a season! Sooner or later though this streak will stall out and I am worried your Fantasy Bowl is the week he throws up a dud. The Rams have an above average secondary for one. Doug’s yardage totals have also decreased each week during this journey leading to just 45 yards on four catches last week. While I think he still gathers a few catches I’m concerned this will be 4-50 sort of game and without the TDs that’s not going to do it for you.

Honorable Mention

Cincinnati receivers have an uphill battle against the Broncos with A.J. McCarron set to lead them once again. How does Ted Ginn keeping scoring when he drops half the passes thrown his way? Sammy Watkins gets a tough matchup against Dallas, but he’s scored six times in the last four games and shown dynamic skills. I’d still roll him out with some confidence.

After shredding the excellent Broncos D last week, Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant get a dream matchup in your Fantasy Bowl against the Ravens.

Tight End

Start ‘Em

Zack Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins

Well hello Mr. Ertz. It took most of the season but the Eagle’s tight end has finally emerged as a weekly starter over the last three games. He had 13 targets last week and has scored in two of the last three games. It still befuddles me as to why the Eagles didn’t use him like this all year, but better late than never. Even though the Redskins have done well against the position if Ertz can get another eight-plus targets he should have ample opportunity to put up a nice stat line.

Sit ‘Em

Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans

It might finally be time to jump off the Delanie bandwagon. He’s been a beast this season and one of the best in fantasy football. However, he’ll have to play without Marcus Mariota this week and faces a difficult foe in the Texans. Their defense has been very solid and allows the 8th fewest points to tight ends on the season. Walker will have voluminous targets on his side, but 80 yards and a touchdown is asking too much.

Honorable Mention

The Chiefs allow the fewest points to tight ends in football and will face Gary Barnidge for your final. Philadelphia hasn’t let tight ends gather points either, but don’t let that discourage you from starting Jordan Reed. After staying healthy for most of the season he has a firm grasp on TE1 numbers including for this week. Even with missing the first four games Julius Thomas has put up the 16th most points for all TEs this year. Start him against the Saints in your final week. Antonio Gates is a top TE for the week facing the Raiders who have allowed the most TDs to the position.

Defense

Start ‘Em

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cleveland Browns

The Chiefs have become the surprise defense of the year. They have a league leading six defensive touchdowns are ranked third in most scoring formats after Denver and Carolina. Over their last eight games this squad has a plus 17 turnover ratio and gets to face the Browns who have the seventh most turnovers on the season. This looks like another good week for the Chiefs so if you’ve ridden them to the championship you can happily throw them out there again one last time.

Sit ‘Em

New York Jets vs. New England Patriots

The Jets have been a top ten defense this year and many expected big things from a blitz happy scheme. While they’ve been good, they haven’t been the great defense many expected. With the Patriots coming to town this is a squad to avoid in your final. New England ran over them in their first meeting and could very well put up another 30 this week. In the most important game of your season you can find something better on your waiver wire and should look at your options.

Best of luck with your fantasy football teams this week! Hopefully advice  helps guide you to victory. Make sure you check out our new Lineup Optimizer tool – RotoPicker

Posted in NFL

Week 15 Stacks to Watch Out For

Carolina Panthers versus the Giants

No need to tell you how unstoppable the Panthers have been this year. Newton is the frontrunner in the MVP race and their winning record speaks for itself. However, they may be missing their star tight end Greg Olsen, who left the game early with a knee injury. Weather he plays or not, he may be a risky pick. If Olsen is limited that will mean more targets for Ginn and Funchess, especially Ginn who has shown he has the speed to separate from defenders and get open for a long ball.

The primary reason this stack looks so promising however is more about their matchup. The Giants have by far been the weakest at against defending the pass this year allowing an average of 314.5 passing yards per game this year, far more than the second place on this list (Steelers at 279 passing yards per game).

Packers Stack

If you are looking for a stack that may be less owned (more upside in a tournament) the Packers may be your choice. While Aaron Rodgers has been struggling lately and the Packers were all run game last weekend, we all know what Aaron Rodgers is capable of with that offense. The Raiders, while weak against both, are better at defending the run than the pass, allowing an average of 271 passing yards per game this year (putting them 5th on that list) but are 12 on lowest rushing yards allowed with just over 100 per game.

James Jones and Randall Cobb are the best picks as far as receivers go. Cobb is a definite favorite target of Rodgers’ and he always seems to be able to find Jones for a long ball. While Richard Rodgers is a red zone threat, I doubt he will be able to match his 2 touchdown performance from 2 weeks ago and he doesn’t get many targets otherwise.

Cardinals Stack

Another matchup that has serious potential is the Arizona Cardinals against the Eagles. The Eagles have been struggling to stop the pass this year and Carson Palmer and his receivers have been red hot. While Larry Fitzgerald has been quite as of late, he is the veteran of this team and always shows up in the clutch. However, the Eagles real weakness lies in their secondary, typically leaving the long ball open. This is where John Brown and Michael Floyd generate their value. Each had a long touchdown last week against the Vikings for over 40 yards and with their speed, they will have no problem getting open down the field against Philly’s pass defense.

Posted in NFL

NFL Fantasy Draft Picks 12-9-2015

Dallas Cowboys versus Green Bay Packers NFL Fantasy Preview 12-13-2015

 

From NFL Week 14 action the Green Bay Packers will be hosting the Dallas Cowboys in the late game on Sunday afternoon. Daily fantasy football draft GM’s can tune to FOX TV at 4:25PM Eastern Time on December 13th to track the results of their fantasy NFL roster picks.

 

These two teams met in the Divisional Round of the playoffs last year with Green Bay winning in controversial style as a long pass to Dez Bryant was ruled a “no-catch” in the closing minutes of the game that resulted in a close Green Bay win. The Cowboys are without Tony Romo for this one so it will be Matt Cassel under center. The team is coming off a three point victory against Washington on Monday night football. The defense has played well but the lack of points this season has led the team to a 4-8 record. The team is 29th in the NFL in scoring offense by averaging 18.6 points per game.

 

Green Bay is in a tie with the Minnesota Vikings in the NFL North with a mark of 8-4. The Packers have the advantage of having rest having last played on Thursday Night Football getting a 61 yard touchdown pass by Aaron Rodgers as time expired for the win.

 

Here is the Fantasy Football Pick

 

Green Bay Packers QB:

Aaron Rodgers

 

The Cowboys will be on a short week and worst yet they are on a road back to back that complicates the preparation for this game. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has multiple touchdown throws in four of his past five games. Look for Rodgers to have a big game here against a Cowboys defense that is in a horrible spot of preparation.

 

 

Buffalo Bills versus Philadelphia Eagles NFL Real Money Fantasy Preview 12-13-2015

 

It will be AFC versus NFC matchup that attracts fantasy football GM’s as the Philadelphia Eagles are home to the Buffalo Bills. DFS one day league contestants can tune to CBS TV on Sunday December 13th at 1PM Eastern Time to track the scoring results from their daily league roster picks.

 

The Philadelphia Eagles recorded 21 points unconventionally in their 35-28 victory to the New England Patriots on the road last week. They got a blocked punt, punt return and interception return for a touchdown last week. The offense generated 248 yards in the win. The defense coughed up some of their lead late to the Patriots as they gave up 427 yards to the Patriot team with very few weapons for Tom Brady to work with.

 

The Buffalo Bills come off a 30-21 victory at home to the Houston Texans last week. They have a very balanced attack in their victory with 187 rushing yards and Tyrod Taylor throwing for 211 yards and three touchdowns.

 

Here is the NFL Fantasy Pick for your Real Money League

 

Buffalo Bills RB:

 

LeSean McCoy

 

This is a huge game that McCoy has circled since being traded to Buffalo from Philadelphia. It is a trade that the former Eagles running back did not like. He was very vocal about being dealt and had some disparaging words towards the Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. Head coach Rex Ryan is a player’s coach who looks to survive by keeping his players happy and being a likeable “player’s coach”. Expect Ryan to allow McCoy to shine in this game because it is Rex’ coaching style. He tries to win over his team by giving into his players in spots like these to shine. The Bills are a very good running team rushing for 141 yards per game and ranking 4th in the NFL.

 

Posted in NFL