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

Patriots (5-1) vs Steelers (4-2)

What was shaping up as one of the marquee matchups of the season lost some of its luster when Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered a torn meniscus last weekend. With Roethlisberger sidelined after undergoing surgery, the Steelers will host the New England Patriots in a matchup of division leaders on Sunday (Enter Contests).

The Patriots weathered a four-game suspension to quarterback Tom Brady, so they realize Pittsburgh still presents an imposing obstacle. They will be playing playing their third consecutive AFC North opponent, having dispatched Cincinnati and Cleveland by a combined 68-30 over the past two weeks. Likewise, the Steelers are facing a third straight team from the AFC East, following a rout of the New York Jets with a 30-15 loss at Miami last weekend.

ABOUT THE PATRIOTS

Sitting out the first month had no apparent negative effect on Brady, who has thrown for 782 yards with six touchdowns and zero interceptions while completing 76 percent of his passes in the first two games. He’s 6-2 against Pittsburgh with 22 scoring passes and three interceptions. Tight end Rob Gronkowski, hobbled by a hamstring injury that forced him to sit out two games, has come alive with a pair of 100-yard games since the return of Brady. He collected seven receptions for a career-high 162 yards and a touchdown in last week’s 35-17 win over Cincinnati. New England’s linebacker corps is riddled with injuries, although Dont’a Hightower was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week.

ABOUT THE STEELERS

Backup quarterback Landry Jones, who appeared in seven games last season and struggled in a start at Kansas City, will be surrounded by plenty of talent. Among them are star wideout Antonio Brown and do-everything running back Le’Veon Bell. Brown tied for the league lead with 136 receptions last season and has 376 catches from 2013-15, but he has failed to find the end zone in 11 games without Roethlisberger. He possess a touchdown catch in all three career meetings against New England. Bell is averaging 5.5 yards per carry and has 20 receptions in his three games since returning from suspension and will likely carry a heavy workload. Pittsburgh’s defense ranks 30th against the pass (293.7 yards per game). The Steelers have won seven in a row at home.

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

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

Pittsburgh Steelers versus Cincinnati Bengals NFL Playoffs Fantasy Picks 1-9-2016

Game 2 from the AFC Wildcard playoffs will feature the Cincinnati Bengals at home to meet the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fantasy football draft GMs can tune to CBS TV on Saturday January 9th at 8:15PM Eastern Time to track the scoring results of their one day league real money NFL roster picks.

These division rivals met twice during the regular season with each road team earning the victory. The most recent matchup came on December 13th at Cincinnati where Pittsburgh was able to earn a 33-20 victory. Both teams were able to move the football. Ben Roethlisberger connected on 30 of 39 passes for 282 yards and a pic. A.J. McCarron saw work in most of the game as Andy Dalton was sidelined with an injury early. McCarron completed 22 of 32 passes for 280 yards with two touchdowns and two picks. A.J. McCarron had a 66 yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green but he also threw a pick six to the Steelers. It appears that A.J. McCarron will get the start with Andy Dalton relegated to a backup role in this game.

The Steelers are a team that many of the AFC playoff participants did not want to see in the postseason. They caught a break with a Jets loss in Week 17 to get the last spot. Pittsburgh brings in the number three rated offense and passing attack into the playoffs. The Steelers are also fourth in the league in scoring offense as they push across 26.4 points per game. Over on the defensive side of the ball they give up lots of yards but sit 11th in scoring defense by giving up 19.9 points per contest. The Steelers could be without running back DeAngelo Williams who has been listed as questionable with a football injury suffered in the win at Cleveland.

Cincinnati has not had success in the post season in recent years. They are just 4-4 over the last half of the season as they have lost to their playoff opponents and beat up on the losing teams they faced in that span. Overall the Bengals are second in the league in scoring defense by allowing 17.4 points per game. With Dalton missing due to injury the Bengals have slipped to the middle of the league in many offensive categories.

Pittsburgh Steelers QB

Ben Roethlisberger

Big Ben will be tossing against the 20th ranked passing defense in the Bengals that surrender 248 yards passing per game. Roethlisberger has hit 68% of his throws this season for 3938 yards with 21 touchdowns and 16 picks. He missed four games of the year due to injury and will be playing his fourth straight game since getting hurt. The Steelers signal caller has thrown for over 300 yards in six of his past eight games.

Pittsburgh Steelers RB

DeAngelo Williams

Williams has emerged as the Steelers leading running back with Le’veon Bell sidelined with injury. The veteran back has played in every game for the Steelers and had 907 yards rushing on 20 carries and 11 touchdowns. His 11 touchdowns were his second most in his career. DeAngelo Williams is rushing for 4.5 yards per carry.

Pittsburgh Steelers WR:

Antonio Brown

Brown led the Steelers receivers with 136 catches for 1834 yards with ten touchdowns. He is coming off a big game against the Browns last week with 13 receptions for 187 yards and a touchdown.

Cincinnati Bengals QB

A.J. McCarron

The second year quarterback will be starting his fourth game for the Bengals. He saw no action in his rookie campaign. McCarron completed 66.4% of his passes for 854 yards with six touchdowns and two picks. In the win at home to Baltimore last week McCarron threw for 160 yards and two touchdowns.

Cincinnati Bengals RB

Jeremy Hill

It is tough to back Jeremy Hill as he is forced to share carries with Giovanni Bernard. Hill has 11 touchdowns on the year but only 794 yards on 223 carries for 3.6 yards per carry.

A.J. Green

Green leads the Bengals with 86 catches for 1297 yards with ten touchdowns. He is averaging 15.1 yards per catch on the campaign. Green has a touchdown reception in two straight and five of his past six games.

NFL Playoff Football Real Money Fantasy League Picks

QB: Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers)

WR: Antonio Brown (Steelers)

WR: A.J. Green (Bengals)

Posted in NFL

NFL Week 17 Recap

Pittsburgh Punches their Ticket

The Steelers earned their spot in the playoffs with their victory against the Browns this weekend. Their playoff hopes had less to do with beating the Browns however and more to do with the Jets losing against the Bills. Antonio Brown had his normal huge performance with 13 receptions, 187 receiving yards, and a receiving touchdown. Although he threw 2 interceptions, Big Ben still had a solid fantasy day with 349 passing yards and 3 passing touchdowns (Antonio Brown, Marcus Wheaton, and Heath Miller). They lost running back Deangelo Williams early on in the game. If he is not healthy for the playoffs, Pittsburgh’s offensive game will be very one dimensional.

The Patriots Struggle

New England had already secured their spot in the playoffs and the division win, but this weekend they still had the AFC championship home field advantage on the line. They appeared to be putting in full effort for that goal with Brady taking the field. However, nothing seemed to be working in their offense. The offensive line provided Brady very little time to work with and lead receivers Amendola and Gronkowski caught only 2 passes each for minimal yardage. The lack of protection resulted in Brady leaving the game late and being replaced by Garoppolo. Things are not looking positive for the Pats going into the playoffs.

Houston Defense Dominates

JJ Watt is back and the Houston Defense is hitting their stride. They had a huge 8 sacks in their season leading fantasy performance (27 fantasy points). They had two interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, and a pick 6 while only allowing 6 points scored from the Ravens. Its a good time for them to be coming around too with their 9-7 record earning them the AFC South champions and a spot in the playoffs.

The Sheriff returns to the Field

This season has seemed to be a disaster for Peyton Manning. His body betrayed him in his final NFL season and when he was healthy enough to return, his job had been taken by Brock Osweiler. However, he had a chance to return to the field late in this week 17 game against the Chargers. He looked like his old self out there and potentially may have earned the starting spot in the playoffs. The Broncos have a week off which may be just what Peyton needs to be 100 percent ready to go.

Carolina Coasts it in

The Panthers didn’t have much of a problem getting the win over the Bucs. Their defense shut the Bucs to only 10 points while Cam Newton passed for almost 300 yards, 2 passing touchdowns, and ran a couple goal line touchdowns in himself. Carolina doesn’t seem to have any weaknesses going into the playoffs.

Seahawks take the top of the rankings

With a blowout victory this weekend over the top ranked Cardinals, the Seahawks are the top ranked team going into the playoffs. They have been getting better and better as the season goes and with the return of Marshawn Lynch for the playoffs, they seem unstoppable.

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

NFL Week 16 Review

Washington Shows up when it Counts

The Redskins won a “must-win” game against the Eagles on Saturday night locking up their playoff position. Kirk Cousins continues on his hot streak. He threw for 365 passing yards and 4 passing touchdowns totaling 32.2 fantasy points. He connected with the weekend leading tight end, Jordan Reed 9 times for 129 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns for 36.9 fantasy points.

Big upsets around the League

This week saw losses from the top teams all over the league. These teams are already locks in the playoffs though so who knows if they were playing at the full level. The first loss was the Patriots overtime loss against the Jets. Brady played the whole game and produced very poor numbers: 231 passing yards, 1 passing touchdowns, and an interception for only 14.8 fantasy points. Fitzpatrick for the Jets provided some good fantasy value with 3 passing touchdowns (2 to Marshall and 1 to Decker), with 296 passing yards for 26.9 fantasy points.

The next big upset was the Falcons taking down the undefeated Panthers. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones got back in sync with Ryan totaling 306 passing yards and a touchdown (19.2 fantasy points) while Julio had 178 yards and a touchdown on 9 catches (35.8 fantasy points). Cam Newton threw for only 142 passing yards, no touchdowns.

Lastly, the Seahawks, who have been red hot over the past 4 weeks, fail to generate much offense against the Rams. Doug Baldwin, who totals 10 receiving touchdowns over the previous 4 weeks scored only 1 this weekend for 1 of 2 passing touchdowns by Wilson.

Johnny Football plays Running Back

Manziel put up the worst game of the weekend as far as passing stats but he helped save a little fantasy value by running the ball. While passing only 136 yards and 1 interception, he ran for 108 rushing yards on 11 attempts. This brought his total score to 17 fantasy points.

Megatron gets some attention

Calvin Johnson put up a decent game this week after catching only 1 pass in each of the previous 2 weeks. He caught 6 passes for 77 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown. This made 19.7 fantasy points. Far from the 3 touchdown game he put up on Thanksgiving, but an improvement.

Brees and Bortles Shootout

The Jaguars and Saints had a high scoring shootout game, which is no surprise with those aggressive quarterbacks and weak secondaries. Although injured, Brees threw for 412 passing yards and 3 passing touchdowns in the win, totaling 31.5 fantasy points. One was a long 71 yard touchdown pass to Cooks, giving him a 5 catch, 123 yard, 1 touchdown game (26.3 fantasy points)

Bortles was less effective throwing 2 interceptions, but with 368 passing yards and 4 passing touchdowns, he stayed close to Brees with 32 fantasy points.

Steelers finally stopped

Big Ben and Antonio Brown seemed unstoppable after putting up big numbers against the Broncos defense last weekend. They were finally stopped this weekend however by the likes of Baltimore. Roethlisberger only there for 215 yards and 2 interceptions, a measly 10.6 fantasy points. Brown had a touchdown get called back and ended the day with 7 receptions for 61 receiving yards and 13.1 fantasy points.

Cardinals and Vikings prove contenders

The Cardinals had a big 38 to 8 win over the Packers. Carson Palmer and the Cardinals prove to be serious contenders, especially with the other big teams showing poor results. There was no huge individual fantasy value in this game, only team contentions.

The Vikings won a blowout of their own winning 49 to 17 against the Giants. Minnesota was very effective running the ball with Peterson rushing 104 yards with a touchdown and McKinnon rushing 89 yards with 2 touchdowns.

Some Premium Receivers Deliver

Brandon Marshall caught 8 passes for 115 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns. 31.5 fantasy points.

Deandre Hopkins caught 7 passes for 117 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown. 24.7 fantasy points.

Julio Jones caught 7 passes for 178 receiving yards and a touchdown. 35.8 fantasy points.

Allen Robinson caught 6 passes for 151 receiving yards and a touchdown. 30 fantasy points.

Posted in NFL

NFL Week 16 Stacks to look out for

Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson

In terms of how he generates fantasy value, Bortles focuses on Quality over Quantity. By this I mean, he tends to only throw passes of 10 yards or more, and often far more. Looking at Jacksonville’s last game against the Falcons, he threw at least one 20+ yard pass to each of 5 different receivers. Robinson had a rare off game, only catching 3 passes for 57 yards, but he remains Bortles favorite target down the field. Jacksonville is facing the Saints, who although their pass defense has improved as of late, they still rank 3rd on the list of passing yards allowed with 278 passing yards per game.

Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown

If the Broncos can’t stop this dynamic duo, its hard to imagine anyone will be able to. Even against arguably the strongest defense in the NFL, Roethlisberger was able to total 380 passing yards, with Brown catching 16 passes for 189 yards and 2 touchdowns, leading the charts in week 15. Baltimore ranks 12th on the list of most passing yards allowed with 248 passing yards per game, compared to Denver who only allowed 188 passing yards per game (leading the NFL) going into week 15 where they were dominated by the Steelers.

Jimmy Clausen and Kamar Aiken

However, as strong as the Steelers’ offense is, they still are not a dominant team due to the weakness on the defensive side. They rank second in most passing yards allowed with 279 per game and if you are looking for a lower ownership, high risk stack, the Clausen and Aiken may be the stack for you. If you overlook the 2 interceptions Clausen threw last weekend, he put up some quality numbers (281 passing yards and 2 passing touchdowns) against a strong Chiefs defense. Aiken had 8 receptions for 73 receiving yards and a touchdown last week as well.

Kirk Cousins and DeSean Jackson

I probably don’t need to tell you how weak the Eagles secondary is and how disadvantaged they are to the long ball. Kirk Cousins should have a big game against the Eagles, my only debate here was which receiver to stack him with. Looking at the season as a whole, Jordan Reed is his favorite target but the Eagles’ weakness lies more in the secondary, which is where DeSean Jackson seems to dominate. Against the Bills last week he racked up 153 receiving yards on only 6 catches, averaging 25.5 yards per catch.

Posted in NFL

NFL Week 15 Recap

Cam Newton Continues to Win

The word on the street going into this week was that the Giants may be the team to stop the Panthers dominance, with Eli having a history of upsetting undefeated teams. It did not seem that way early on with Odell being so off his game, but they turned things around in the second half, putting the Panther’s undefeated season in Jeopardy.

The Panthers were able to winning the end though. Cam Newton showed he can win with any personnel, spreading the ball out to 4 different receivers (Ginn (2), Olsen, Funchess, and Brown) for receiving touchdowns. On top of those 5 passing touchdowns he racked up 340 passing yards and 100 rushing yards for his usual, massive fantasy value.

Redskins find their passing game

Kirk Cousins showed he meant business as Washington dominated the Bills. Cousins went 22 for 28 on passes for 319 passing yards, 4 passing touchdowns and a 13 yard rushing touchdown. Additionally, he ran one in himself. As far as receivers went, Cousins picked his favorites, connecting with Jordan Reed for 2 touchdown passes, DeSean Jackson for 153 receiving yards and 1 receiving touchdown, and Pierre Garcon for a receiving touchdown.

Bears can’t stop the pass

Teddy Bridgewater had an uncharacteristically good passing game throwing 17 for 20 with 4 passing touchdowns for 231 passing yards against Chicago. On top of that, he showed his athleticism with 17 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. After Peterson was limited early to an ankle injury, they were forced to rely on the passing game, which the Bears were not able stifle. Bridgewater connected with Diggs for 55 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns and with Jerick McKinnon for 76 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown.

Denver’s Defense can’t hold back the Steelers

Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger continue to dominate, even against what may be the best defense in the NFL. Big Ben threw for 380 passing yards and 3 passing touchdowns while Brown caught 16 passes for 189 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. Brown’s numbers was beat early on by the Broncos‘ Emmanuel Sanders catching 10 passes for 181 receiving yards and a touchdown, but the Steelers rally late in the game pushed Brown ahead.

Danny Woodhead single handedly beats the Dolphins

Well maybe he needed the rest of his team out there… but it seems like Woodhead can do it all as he scored 4 total touchdowns, 3 receiving and 1 rushing. He ended the day with a total of 38 fantasy points combining those touchdowns with receptions, receiving yards, and rushing yards.

Hard to find value at Running Back

Not much value could be found at running back this week. Those who did provide value did so by combining rushing stats with receiving stats. The Patriots‘ James White did so with only 1 rush for 6 yards but 7 receptions for 71 receiving yards and 1 receiving touchdown. Similarly, Devonta Freeman had 56 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown for decent value, but he added on top of that 7 receptions for 45 receiving yards.

The same could be said for Matt Forte as he rushed for only 47 yards but had 6 receptions for 57 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown. The Chiefs‘ Charcandrick West logged 76 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown as well to be among the weekends leaders at running back. Rashad Jennings provided some fantasy value in a high scoring loss against the Panthers with 107 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.

Posted in NFL

NFL Fantasy Draft News 12-6-2015

Seattle Seahawks versus Minnesota Vikings NFL Fantasy Preview 12-6-2015

It will be a battle between playoff contenders as the Minnesota Vikings will host the Seattle Seahawks. NFL fantasy football draft GMs can tune to FOX at 1PM Eastern Time on Sunday December 6th to follow the results of their DFS roster picks.

The Seattle Seahawks have had their issues on the road this season with a record of 2-3. Both teams have defended well on the season. The Seahawks are fourth in total defense by allowing just 324 yards per game. They have struggled in that category recently allowing 30 or greater points in two of their past three games including 30 points allowed at home to Pittsburgh last week.

The Minnesota Vikings lead the NFC North division with a record of 8-3 on the year. The team is allowing just 17.6 points per game on the season good for second best in the NFL. Two losses by Minnesota have come in their biggest test with a 30-14 home defeat to Green Bay and a 23-20 road loss at Denver. The offense has sputtered for the Vikings by averaging just 21 points per game ranking 26th in the league. Minnesota’s biggest weapon is Adrian Peterson but the Seahawks defend the run very well and have an outstanding secondary.

Here is the Fantasy Football Pick:

Seattle Seahawks defense

It will be hard for Minnesota to generate points on the Seahawks defense. They will stop the run and force Teddy Bridgewater to make plays in the passing game. Unfortunately the Vikings are 31st and second worst in the league in passing offense and the Seahawks have a very good secondary.

Indianapolis Colts versus Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL Real Money Fantasy Preview 12-6-2015

Two AFC contenders will battle on Sunday December 6th as the Pittsburgh Steelers will host the Indianapolis Colts. One day fantasy football draft managers can tune to NBC TV at 8:30PM Eastern Time to track the results of their DFS roster picks.

Both teams have had issues with the health of their starting quarterback. Indianapolis enters play with a 6-5 mark and sit 22nd in total offense and 26th in total defense with the weakness on defense being against the pass. Andrew Luck has been ruled out with kidney an abdominal injuries. It will be Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback once again for the Colts. Indianapolis has a three game win streak since a three point home win to Denver on November 8th. Their defense came through with a good performance last week in a 25-12 home victory to Tampa Bay.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are on back to back road games this week. The team is 6-5 after dropping a 39-30 road decision at Seattle last week. The Colts don’t sport a dynamic offense like Seattle. The Steelers have put together some very good offensive numbers. They are number six in the league in passing offense as they throw for 279 yards per game.

Here are the NFL Fantasy Picks for your Real Money League:

Play on Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers QB)

After suffering a concussion last week it looks like Ben Roethlisberger will play on Sunday night. He is completing 66.5% of his throws for 2343 yards with 11 touchdowns and nine picks. Big Ben will be throwing against a Colts defense that ranks 27th against the pass. It should be a big day for Roethlisberger.

Play on Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh Steelers WR)

Brown has led the Steelers with 85 catches for 1192 yards with five touchdowns. Two weeks ago in the win against Cleveland the wide out had ten catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Against another bad defensive team Browns had 17 receptions for 284 yards versus the Raiders.

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Breaking Daily Fantasy NFL Football News 9-28-2015

Ben Roethlisberger Out 4-6 Weeks

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for up to six weeks with a sprained MCL and bone bruise. Fortunately the MRI taken on Roethlisberger did not show any damage to the ACL which would have sidelined Big Ben for the rest of the season. The backup is veteran Michael Vick

Ben Roethlisberger:

The Steelers quarterback is a very tough player to replace on fantasy rosters. Big Ben put up some career numbers in the 2014 campaign. Last year he completed 67% of his throws for 4952 yards with 32 touchdowns and nine picks. In his three starts he was completing 75% of his passes for 912 yards with four touchdowns and two picks.

Michael Vick:

Vick played in ten games for the New York Jets last year. He completed just 52% of his throws for 604 yards with three touchdowns and two picks. Michael Vick in relief to Roethlisberger on Sunday completed 5 of 6 throws for just 38 yards. Vick has not been an accurate passer in recent seasons. Prior to his time with the Jets, Vick was under center for the Philadelphia Eagles where he struggled big time with turnovers. Because of his knack for the mistake the Steelers may lean on their run game. Running back Le’Veon may be worth a look next week on rosters.

Victor Cruz Announces His Return to Lineup in Week 4

Victor Cruz

The New York Giants wide receiver has not played in 2015 as he tries and recovers from a calf injury. In 2014 he missed most of the season with a knee injury. In his career he has 24 touchdown receptions and averages 15 yards per catch.

Odell Beckham Jr

The Giants second year wide out has 19 receptions for 269 yards and two touchdowns in his three games. Beckham Jr. has touchdown catches in two straight games.

Rueben Randle

Randle has been expected to step up with Cruz out. After two bad games to start the year Randle contributed in the win against Washington last week with seven catches for 116 yards with a touchdown. He averaged 16 ½ yards per reception last week.

Shane Vereen

The former New England Patriot dual purpose back was acquired during the offseason. Vereen throughout his career has been very active in the passing game and could take away targets from Cruz. On the year Vereen has 12 receptions for 122 yards.

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NFL Fantasy Draft News 9-16-2015

San Francisco 49ers versus Pittsburgh Steelers One Day League NFL Fantasy Picks

The Pittsburgh Steelers will host the San Francisco 49ers in week two action. Fantasy football draft GM’s can tune to FOX at 1PM Eastern Time on Sunday September 20th to follow the results of their rosters.

Many were down on this San Francisco 49ers team as the club lost many of their stars in free agency. Pundits were not too excited with Jim Tomsula replacing Jim Harbaugh as the head coach. Tomsula has a defensive background with the 49ers for several years and it was on display as the 49ers win on Monday night by limiting the Vikings to just three points for the game. The San Francisco run game generated over five yards a carry on the Vikings defense. The 49ers defense limited the Vikings to just 248 yards of offense.

The Steelers opened up with the New England Patriots on a Thursday night. The team struggled on the defensive side of the football in a 28-21 road defeat at New England. The Pittsburgh pass defense was sliced up in the loss as they allowed Tom Brady to throw for 288 yards and four touchdowns. The 49ers will ground and pound but the Steelers limited the Patriots to just 80 rushing yards on 24 carries which amounted to less than four yards per rush.

San Francisco 49ers QB:

Colin Kaepernick was 17 of 26 for 165 yards last week with no touchdown passes. His longest gain in the passing game went for 20 yards. There is talk around the league that Kaepernick will be allowed to run more than in the past with Harbaugh. Last week the 49er signal caller rushed for 41 yards on seven carries for nearly 6 yards per attempt.

San Francisco 49ers RB:

Carlos Hyde is the guy now in San Francisco with veteran running back Frank Gore allowed to walk in free agency. Hyde had a monster fantasy performance with 26 rushing attempts for 168 yards and two touchdowns.

San Francisco 49ers TE:

Vernon Davis had a forgettable 2014 season. His fantasy numbers were way down. In week one he caught three passes for 47 yards for 15.7 yards per catch average. That was more like the Vernon Davis that draft GM’s know and love.

Pittsburgh Steelers QB:

Ben Roethlisberger is coming off a career year in 2014 as he had high’s in many passing categories. Against the Patriots defense Big Ben hit 68% of his throws for 351 yards with a touchdown and pick. He did find a run option in Deangelo Williams last week as Le’Veon Bell will serve his second game of a suspension on Sunday. But don’t believe for a minute that the Steelers will try and run on San Francisco after what they did to Adrian Peterson. Roethlisberger will be firing away downfield to his weapons in the passing game.

Pittsburgh Steelers RB:

DeAngelo Williams will be the featured back once again in week two. Williams rushed 21 times for 127 yards for 6 yards per carry average on the Patriots defense.

Pittsburgh Steelers WR:

Antonio Brown will be heavily targeted once again. He led Pittsburgh in week one with nine receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown. He averaged a very good 14.7 yards per catch average with the entire world knowing that Big Ben was going his way.

Darrius Heyward-Bey came over from the Oakland Raiders and contributed in week one for Pittsburgh with four catches for 58 yards for 14.5 yards per catch average.

Pittsburgh Steelers TE:

Heath Miller sees a lot of time on the field because he is a very good run blocker. That allows Miller to get targeted in the passing game. In week one Miller caught eight balls for 88 yards for a very good 10.5 yards per catch average.

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