Tag: Devonta Freeman
NFL Super Bowl 51 Preview
Atlanta Falcons vs New England Patriots
With the Falcons’ 44–21 beating of the Packers, and the Patriots’ 36–17 destruction of the Steelers in Sunday’s conference championship games, the country has seen just two competitive playoff games out of the 10 played to this point. Will the Houston Super Bowl on February 5th be any different? For that answer, let’s get an early look at the factors that will determine the winner of Super Bowl 51 (Play at FanPicks).
Running backs will be a huge factor
Sure, the quarterbacks may get all the attention, but the running backs from each team are used to taking advantage of the shortcomings on opposing defenses. The Falcons have one of the most talented duos in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Freeman is the better runner, but Shanahan loves to use both to exploit mismatches in the pass game. McDaniels likes to use Dion Lewis and James White in a similar fashion via the pass, and Lewis has taken over as the every-down running back. LeGarrette Blount is the short yardage and finish-the-game bruiser.
Atlanta’s offense is exceptional
Under the spotlight of the Super Bowl, this Falcons offense may finally get its due. We’re talking about a unit that can rival the Greatest Show on Turf Rams for explosiveness. They scored 540 points this season, which is tied for eighth all time with those 2000 Rams. Sure, the team is uber-talented with wideout’s Jones, Sanu and Taylor Gabriel, and running backs’s Freeman and Coleman, but don’t underestimate the job coordinator Shanahan has done. At this point, everyone thinks it’s all about the talent. But remember, Sanu was an underachieving No. 2 with the Bengals and Gabriel was a Browns castoff before this season. Freeman and Coleman were thought to be nice players, but not game changers. That all changed this season because of the way Shanahan designs plays and attacks defenses. There are few better at taking an opponent’s tendencies and using them against them.
The Patriots defense will have a say
New England’s defense certainly proved its “best scoring defense” was no fluke in the win over the Steelers. And remember who put an end to those 2000s Rams teams (Spoiler Alert: It was the 2001 Patriots). New England may not have many big names on defense (Dont’a Hightower, Devin McCourty and Malcolm Butler are about it), but the sum is better than the parts. Certainly the Falcons will be a huge challenge, but everyone knows Bill Belichick and his staff can defend anything with two weeks to prepare.
The Patriots’ offensive line should have an advantage
After a shaky outing against the Texans, the Patriots’ offensive line completely dominated the Steelers. The Falcons’ unit is certainly solid but it’s not quite as good as the Patriots. The Patriots have the edge at left tackle (Nate Solder), right guard (Shaq Mason) and right tackle (Marcus Cannon), while the Falcons have an advantage at center (Alex Mack) and left guard (Andy Levitre).
Experience doesn’t matter
Expect a lot to be made this week about how this is Matt Ryan’s first Super Bowl appearance versus Tom Brady’s seventh (with four victories). Certainly the disparity is notable, but it ignores the fact that several passers have beaten those with more experience in recent years. Some of those on the list: Russell Wilson over Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers over Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning over Brady and Brady over Kurt Warner.
You have to stop more than one guy
Each quarterback has a security blanket. For the Patriots, it’s Julian Edelman (158 targets in the regular season). Atlanta has Jones (129). Certainly a lot of attention needs to paid to each of those players, but both quarterbacks are deft at distributing the ball. The Patriots had seven players catch at least three touchdowns (tight end Martellus Bennett led with seven), and so did the Falcons (Jones and Gabriel tied with six). In the postseason, both Sanu (Falcons) and Chris Hogan (Patriots) had two touchdowns receiving.
Where’s the pressure?
It looks like the opening over/under line for the Super Bowl is an astounding 59 points. No shock there, considering these two offenses. But it also says something about the defenses, which were both great on Sunday but don’t exactly get a lot of pressure on the quarterbacks. The Patriots didn’t affect Roethlisberger that much and don’t have a dominating rusher, although Trey Flowers is solid. And the Falcons’ only true pass rushing threat is Vic Beasley. The game may very well be determined by which team is able to dial up the most pressure and make that top quarterback move off his spot in the pocket.
Falcons vs Buccaneers
The Falcons may own the NFL’s top-ranked offense, but the Buccaneers have had their number with Jameis Winston under center. The former Heisman Trophy recipient will attempt to get a second series sweep against Atlanta in as many seasons. The division rivals clash at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on Thursday night (Enter Contest)
On Sunday, Winston managed to get two touchdown in the loss against Oakland. He was able to toss four scoring passes during the season-opening victory over Atlanta on September 11. Trusted target Mike Evans reeled in a scoring strike against the Falcons. His six touchdown receptions are tied for the NFL lead. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan continued his stellar season with three touchdown passes in Sunday’s 33-32 victory over Green Bay. An 11-yard scoring strike to offseason acquisition Mohamed Sanu capped his 32nd career game-winning drive. Ryan, who leads the league in both yards (2,636) and touchdowns (19), has thrown for 1,000 yards and five scores in his last three encounters with Tampa Bay. He will face a Buccaneers defense that ranks 23rd in the league (274.7 yards per contest).
ABOUT THE FALCONS (5-3)
The Falcons leads the NFC South standings. Julio Jones has amassed an NFC-best 859 yards and is averaging 20.0 yards per catch, but the electric wideout finished with 29 yards receiving this past week for the second time this season. He was hobbled by an ailing knee. Jones is expected to play on Thursday. Running back Tevin Coleman (hamstring) is listed as questionable after sitting out last week’s tilt versus the Packers. Devonta Freeman more than picked up the slack with a rushing and receiving touchdown last week. He has 100-plus scrimmage yards in two of his last three contests, although he was limited to just 20 yards on 11 carries in the season-opening loss. Austin Hooper made five receptions for 41 yards during week 8 of the NFL in place of fellow tight end Jacob Tamme (shoulder), who has been ruled out versus Tampa Bay.
ABOUT THE BUCCANEERS (3-4)
While Tampa Bay’s passing game is pretty well defined, the backfield has remained in motion through most of the season due to injury. Jacquizz Rodgers filled in admirably for Doug Martin (hamstring) before sustaining a sprained foot versus the Raiders. This injury will keep him out of Thursday game. It will open the door for a three-man backfield of Antone Smith, Peyton Barber and Mike James. Linebacker Kwon Alexander recorded 14 tackles versus Oakland last week, his highest total since collecting 17 in the season opener at Atlanta. The Bucs acquired a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2018 draft from Detroit for corneback Johnthan Banks on Tuesday.
Atlanta Falcons (1-1) vs New Orleans Saints (0-2)
The New Orleans Saints will commemorate one of the more noteworthy games in franchise history when they host the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night in a matchup (Enter Contests) of longtime NFC South rivals. It will mark the 10-year anniversary of the re-opening of the Superdome after the venue was forced to close for one season in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
About the Saints
While emotions certainly will not be as high as in New Orleans’ win over Atlanta a decade ago, the Saints can use any edge to avoid an 0-3 start after dropping their first two games by a combined four points.The Saints were horrendous on defense last season and little has changed. They rank 31st in the league with a staggering 451.5 yards surrendered and have been torched through the air for an average of 336.0 yards. Keeping the defense off the field would be easier if the Saints could crank up their running game, with lead back Mark Ingram producing 88 rushing yards on only 21 attempts, including nine carries in last week’s 19-16 loss at the New York Giants.
Quarterback Drew Brees has a potent receiving duo in Willie Snead and Brandon Cooks, who have combined for 27 catches and four touchdowns. Cooks has accumulated a touchdown catch in six consecutive home games. The Saints are 15-5 versus Atlanta since Brees and coach Sean Payton joined the team, which also includes a season sweep in 2015.
About the Falcons
The Falcons rebounded from a 31-24 home loss to Tampa Bay in Week 1 with a 35-28 road win last week at Oakland, which squeezed out a 35-34 victory at New Orleans in the season opener. Matt Ryan had his fewest touchdown passes (21) since his rookie season in 2015, but he off to a fast start with 730 yards passing with five scores and one interception while leading the league with a 121.4 quarterback rating. There is cause for concern in the passing game with star wide receiver Julio Jones sitting out his second straight practice Friday due to a calf injury, but Atlanta coach Dan Quinn said he expects him to play. Jones has nine receptions for 149 yards in the last meeting against New Orleans.
The Falcons are receiving solid production from the backfield tandem of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, who have combined for 181 rushing yards and 11 receptions. Atlanta’s defense ranks 29th overall, allowing an average of 412.5 yards per game.
NFL Season Preview
2016 NFC South Fantasy Football Season Preview
With the NFL season kicking off in 4 weeks, the excitement is electrifying for this upcoming campaign and FanPicks will be previewing all eight divisions these upcoming days, continuing by the NFL’s NFC South. Take advantage of our MLB and NFL Cross Sports contests, unique in the fantasy industry but first enjoy this 2016 NFC South Fantasy Football Season Preview article brought you by Fanpicks.
Just when Devonta Freeman looks like a good Fantasy pick, the Falcons schedule hits you like a ton of bricks. Four road games in the first six weeks include back-to-back games at Denver and at a rested Seattle team. They also play at Tampa on a short week and at Carolina in Week 16. Home games include the Chargers, Packers, Cardinals and Chiefs — not easy games. Freeman’s going to have to get a lot done in the passing game.
Key Additions: C Alex Mack, DE Derrick Shelby, WR Mohamed Sanu
Key Losses: DT Paul Soliai, DE O’Brien Schofield, DE Kroy Biermann, G Chris Chester, WR Roddy White
It’s a tougher slate than what they had in 2015 but it’s not a dangerous gauntlet. Maybe the biggest issue is that there’s no stretch where they can dominate offensively for five or six weeks at a time. Leading off at Denver, then taking on the Vikings in Week 3, then a showdown with the Cardinals in Week 8 is an example. Back-to-back West Coast games are brutal. Cam Newton should remain productive but don’t expect a year like the one he just had.
Key Additions: Di Paul Soliai, C Gino Gradkowski
Key Losses: ED Jared Allen (Retired), WR Jerricho Cotchery, P Brad Nortman
New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees’ arm is going to fall off. The matchups are either sweet for the Saints passing game or will require the Saints to put up a ton of points to keep up. Then again, is that really different than normal? Check out this horrid six-game stretch starting in Week 6: at Carolina, at Kansas City, Seattle, at San Francisco, Denver and at Carolina on a Thursday. That stretch could be an eyesore for Mark Ingram.
Key Additions: TE Coby Fleener, LB James Laurinaitis, LB Nathan Stupar
Key Losses: WR Marques Colston, TE Ben Watson, CB Brandon Browner, HB Khiry Robinson, G Jahri Evans
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
t’s a tough start for the Buccaneers — they play at Arizona, vs. Los Angeles, vs. Denver and at Carolina in Weeks 2 through 5. But after their Week 6 bye they have a lot of good-looking matchups including a potential foursome of shootouts in Weeks 13 through 16 (at San Diego, vs. New Orleans, at Dallas, at New Orleans). Draft the Bucs and be patient with them.
Key Additions: ED Robert Ayers, G J.R. Sweezy, LB Daryl Smith, CB Brent Grimes, CB Josh Robinson
Key Losses: G Logan Mankins (retired), LB Bruce Carter, LB Danny Lansanah
NFL/NBA Cross Sport Recap: Pro Bowl Weekend
Fanpicks hosted the first ever Cross Sport Daily Fantasy Sports Tournament this weekend with the Pro Bowl action. This contest features a lineup selected with 6 NFL players and 3 NBA players with their cumulative totals contributing to your lineup point total. With Fanpicks unique scoring system, which equates scoring between sports, Fanpicks is the only Daily fantasy site that can offer such a contest. So even if you missed the Pro Bowl contest, we will offer a similar contest next week for the Super Bowl (and will be the only Daily Fantasy site offering Super Bowl daily fantasy contests)!
Here’s the rundown of what players won you your Daily Fantasy Cross Sport Contest last weekend.
The 6 NFL Positions included in a Cross Sport lineup are Quarterback, Running Back, 2 Wide Receivers, a Tight End, and a Utility position (which can be a Running Back, Receiver, or Tight end). With the explosive offenses, there was value to be found all over the place this weekend. Here were the picks to make to win you the weekend.
Though he had to share some of the play time with the other Quarterbacks on the roster, Russell Wilson was able to put in some decent numbers in a short period of time for Team Irvin. He threw for 164 yards and three touchdowns and was the only quarterback other than Winston to not throw an interception. He ended the day with almost 19 fantasy points leading the charts of quarterbacks.
Just like most weeks during the regular season, there was not much fantasy value to be found at running back. There was only one rushing touchdown in the game by Doug Martin for Team Rice—along with 20 rushing yards, and 5 receptions for 20 receiving yards totaling 15 fantasy points.
Devonta Freeman and Todd Gurley each had a receiving touchdown. Freeman totaled 17 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 27 receiving yards, and 1 receiving touchdown for 10.4 fantasy points. Gurley totaled 18 rushing yards, 18 receiving yards, 2 receptions, and a receiving touchdown for 9.6 fantasy points.
Heres where the value racked up as many different receivers broke away for long touchdown catches. The yardage leader was Allen Robinson with 2 receptions for 105 receiving yards and a touchdown — 21.5 fantasy points. Deandre Hopkins and Jarvis Landry each had nice games as well as Hopkins had 3 catches for 71 yards and a touchdown— 16.1 fantasy points and Landry had 3 catches for 81 yards and a touchdown — 17.1 fantasy points.
The top pick at Tight End was Travis Kelce for Team Rice. He had a pair of receiving touchdowns and 5 receptions for 91 yards earning him a total of 26.1 fantasy points. Delanie Walker was also able to put together some value with a big touchdown pass. He had 3 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown for 17 fantasy points.
The NBA positions included in a Cross Sport lineup are Guard, Forward, and Center— with one of each being included in your 9 player cross sport roster.
Klay Thompson took over as Curry had a rare off day shooting only 5-17 from the field. Thompson however scored 34 and totaled 29 fantasy points. You’re next best choice at Guard was Deron Williams with 27 game points and 25.5 fantasy points.
Thompson wasn’t the only one who picked up the pace with Curry’s struggles. Draymond Green was also able to put together a big fantasy day with 10 rebounds, 10 assists, and 20 points for a triple-double and 37.5 fantasy points. If you didn’t have Green, Aaron Gordon for Orlando would have been a good alternative at Forward as he had 19 points and 14 rebounds for 33.5 fantasy points.
Pau Gasol and Deandre Jordan each put together big games in the Bulls vs Clippers game. Gasol had 14 rebounds and 15 points with a fantasy total of 28 fantasy points. He was outperformed however by Jordan who had 20 rebounds, 17 points, and 4 blocks totaling 40 fantasy points. Nikola Vucevic for the Magic would have boosted your lineup as well as he had 13 rebounds and 16 points totaling 32 fantasy points on the day.
While my colleague Tyler wrote that he would go with Eli Manning on Team Rice, I think the star will be Derek Carr. This event is made for guys like him. A young fresh face from a team like Oakland. A real gunslinger. Carr will toss it up to his boy Amari Cooper often enough, but Odell Beckham is the one everyone wants to see ball out. He obviously has a flair for the dramatic, and made a bunch of sweet grabs at last year’s contest. Play him with confidence if you’re willing to take on his salary.
Tyrod Taylor is extremely effecient and I don’t think enough people really appreciated how well he played this year. Better yet, the is the unquestioned leader in Buffalo. He provides very good value at a lower salary.
Adrian Peterson is getting long in the tooth, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the coaches give him a little more timeon the field than you’d expect, but Doug Martin will likely play the most snaps. FB John Kuhn should get some good opportunities as well, everybody loves the guy.
Jarvis Landry is someone you want to look for in the end-zone with his strong hands, and Gary Barnidge made a ton of highlight-reel catches around the goal line this season.
Team Irvin’s wide receiver core is just outstanding. Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, AJ Green and Allen Robinson are all big, fast, spectacular playmakers. Once again, while my colleague went with Russel Wilson as his stud QB, I’m going with Jamies Winston. I think this game leans toward the younger players, and the league wants to showcase the great young talent it has. Like Carr, Winston is an aggressive downfield thrower who will thrive with this set of tall WR’s. Wilson may be more effecient in his time, but I think Winston will have the most attempts.
Jones is my man here as I think he is the most explosive receiver in the league. With an All-Star cast around him, a few touchdowns may not be crazy. Hopkins is worth his price tag as well.
The talent at RB is stacked too. Captain Devonta Freeman got there by catching 73 passes (578 yards, 3 TDs) this year to go with his 1000 yards and 11 TDs on the ground. His versatility could go a long way in the Pro-Bowl. Expect him to fill the scoresheet across all categories.
Todd Gurley is an animal. His running style leads to long runs if he has a slight crease, as his power lets him slip through the hands of would-be tacklers. I always feel confident playing Gurley because of his desire, no matter the importance.
Latavius Murray had his share of ups-and-downs in Oakland in 2015, but similar to Gurley can break long runs due to his powerful stride.
RB conclusion – I predict similar production from the trio, so choose one depending on salary needs to fit your team.
TEs Tyler Eifert and Delanie Walker are downfield threats who may be forgotten with such dangerous flankers accompanying them. Eifert could have mutiple TDs.
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.
Atlanta Falcons versus New Orleans Saints Thursday Night Football Fantasy League Picks 10-15-2015
Thursday Night Football has two rivals from the NFC South going head to head as the New Orleans Saints will host the Atlanta Falcons. NFL fantasy football draft GM’s can tune to CBS TV on October 15th at 8:30PM Eastern Time to follow the scoring results of their roster picks.
Many had pegged the Falcons to be a turnaround team with the head coaching change during the offseason. Atlanta is now 5-0 after they got past the Washington Redskins at home in overtime on Sunday afternoon. The win came from their defense as Robert Alford intercepted a Kirk Cousins pass and returned it 59 yards for the overtime game winning touchdown. The Falcons moved the football last week with 408 total yards with 176 coming from their ground game. Atlanta did a good job defensively last week against the good Washington run game by limiting the Redskins to just 51 yards rushing on their 24 attempts for just about two yards a carry. On the season the Atlanta Falcons are third in the league in scoring offense as they produce 32 points per game on the season. The Falcons are the top rush defense in the NFL and sit in the middle of the league in scoring defense by giving up 22.4 points per game on the season.
The New Orleans Saints were pegged as a team on the decline by many industry pundits. So far the critics have been right about this team as they enter this home date with a 1-4 record. Their only win came at home in overtime to a Dallas Cowboys team without their starting quarterback Tony Romo and top playmaker in the passing game in Dez Bryant. They traveled to Philadelphia last week and were routed 39-17 in a game where they turned it over four times. The Saints defense was ripped by the Eagles offense for 519 yards with 186 yards rushing by Philadelphia. On the year the Saints are the worst defense in the NFL by surrendering an average of 409 yards per game to their opponents. New Orleans still hasn’t been able to get a run game to support their passing game. The Saints rush for 85 yards a game which is 29th in the league.
Atlanta Falcons QB:
The veteran quarterback has hit on 65% of his throws this year with six touchdowns and four picks. He had his worst game of the year against a good defensive team in Washington and completed 57% of his throws for 254 yards with no touchdowns and two picks. A check of the odds for this game and we see an over under line of 51 points which is high for a Thursday night game with little rest and prep time. Still the oddsmakers think this will be a high scoring game so Ryan could provide value on one day fantasy leagues.
Atlanta Falcons RB:
There were some whispers that rookie Tevin Coleman would take away carries from Freeman. Devonta Freeman had his best game of the year last week with 153 yards rushing on 27 carries and a touchdown. Prior to that performance he had nearly five yards a carry in the home win to Houston.
Atlanta Falcons WR:
Health has always been an issue for the Falcons star wide out. He leads the team with 43 catches for 545 yards and four touchdowns. Jones is without touchdown reception the past two games.
New Orleans Saints QB:
Brees has hit on 66% of his throws this year for 1304 yards with six touchdowns and three picks. He threw for 335 yards and two touchdowns last week in the loss to Philadelphia.
New Orleans Saints RB:
The veteran back leads New Orleans with 68 rushes for 261 yards and two touchdowns. He has yet to rush for 100 yards this season with his high just 77 yards. Ingram is running for just 3.8 yards a carry.
New Orleans Saints WR:
Seeing his first year on the field Snead leads the Saints with 22 catches for 381 yards and a touchdown. He caught six balls last week against the Eagles for 141 yards.
NFL Thursday Night Football Cash League Fantasy Picks
QB: Matt Ryan (Falcons)
RB: Devonta Freeman (Falcons)
WR: Julio Jones (Falcons), Willie Snead (Saints)
TE: Benjamin Watson (Saints)