Week 16 Value Picks

Quarterback

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The shootout of the weekend should be between Jacksonville and New Orleans, assuming Drew Brees is healthy enough to take the field after tearing his plantar last week (the same injury Peyton Manning is struggling with). These two quarterbacks love to throw the ball and their defenses love to let the ball be thrown. I give Bortles the fantasy edge though since the Saints defense is more flawed fundamentally and Bortles just loves to throw the ball way down the field.

Kirk Cousins could be a great value pick this weekend as well. He has been on fire lately and we see the weapons he has in Jordan Reed and DeSean Jackson (even Alfred Morris as well). Thats not even considering the fact that the Eagles secondary is great at making any quarterback look like Tom Brady out there.

Running Back

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As you can see from the above, there are not many great options at running back this week with the highest projected running back as Doug Martin (CHI @ TB) with only 20.6 projected points. You can spend the money at Running back if you wish and go with the likes of Doug Martin (CHI @ TB) and Matt Forte (CHI @ TB) in what should be a run off, or you can save your money for the higher value at the Receiver position and go for the bargain picks of Darren Sproles (WAS @ PHI), Tim Hightower (JAX @ NO), Christine Michael (STL @ SEA), or Ameer Abdullah (SF @ DET).

Wide Receiver

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The stack of the week should be Allen Robinson and Blake Bortles against the Saints. There is no denying that the Big Ben and Antonio Brown connection has been unstoppable this year, no matter what the matchup. He is going to cost you a pretty penny but fading Antonio Brown may just kill your chances of winning big, as it has plenty of weekends this year already.

Or you can go with Doug Baldwin who has scored over 10 touchdowns in the past 4 weeks. Can he keep this streak going against the Rams? I’m saying yes, not that he will score another 3 touchdowns, but he should be able to haul in 1 or 2 providing some good fantasy value. Seattle doesn’t seem to be stopping this charge until the season ends.

If you are trying to find a cheap value receiver to fill that last spot in your lineup with limited funds, you can look to Jeremy Maclin (CLE @ KC), John Brown (GB @ ARI), Michael Floyd (GB @ ARI), Willie Snead (JAX @ NO), Bradon Cooks (JAX @ NO), or Golden Tate (SF @ DET).

Tight End

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The tight end decision has been made easier in the previous couple weeks with Gronk out. Up until then the decision was go for Gronk, accept the 50+% ownership and $7000+ price tag and hope its his week, or choose from the list of alternative tight ends. The Gronk versus the field decision is back. This week it is easy though.

Gronk has not shown his dominance of previous years this season and is only projected about 1 point higher than the Saints‘ Benjamin Watson. The value picks here are Ebron and Kelce. Kelce has been stagnated slightly since his explosive start to the season and his salary reflects that decline. However, he has high end potential against the Browns, which is what you are going to need to win any big NFL Daily Fantasy Tournament. Ebron as well has shown brilliance at times this year and is getting more action lately with Calvin Johnson all of the sudden becoming obsolete in their offense. Ebron comes much cheaper than the other highly projected options and allows you to spend the cash where you want this week, with the receivers.

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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.

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NFL Fantasy Draft News 12-20-2015

Chicago Bears versus Minnesota Vikings NFL Fantasy Preview 12-20-2015

It will be a battle between NFC north foes as the Minnesota Vikings are at home to meet the Chicago Bears. NFL draft managers can tune to FOX on Sunday December 20th at 1PM Eastern Time to track the results of their one day fantasy league picks.

The Vikings are battling the Packers for the NFC North title as they sit one game back with three games left to be played. The first meeting between these teams was held on November 1st with Minnesota posting the 23-20 road victory. The Bears failed to hold a seven point lead late as their secondary gave up big plays in the passing game to the Vikings passing attack. Adrian Peterson had a good game on the ground rushing for 103 yards.

Minnesota looks to break a two game losing streak with losses to Seattle and the Cardinals. The Vikings have scored no greater than 20 points over their past four games. Teams look to lock on Adrian Peterson and force Teddy Bridgewater to beat them.

Chicago is only 5-8 but the team has shown improvement on the playing field. They are 12th in total defense and 17th in total offense.

Here are the Fantasy Football Picks

In the league, getting lit up for passing yards is only allowing 20 points per game ranking 11th the Bengals to 20 points, Jay Cutler has shown improvement under center in 2015. He has limited the amount of mistakes. He is coming off a performance against Washington last week where he threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns.

Play on Jay Cutler

Chicago Bears QB

Bears veteran running back Matt Forte has rushing touchdowns in two straight games. With John Fox as the new head coach of the Bears they are going to more of a balanced attack on offense. Forte is still featured in the passing game as he is averaging over three receptions per game.

Play on Matt Forte

Chicago Bears RB

Houston Texans versus Indianapolis Colts NFL Real Money Fantasy Preview 12-20-2015

It will be a key game in the AFC South division as the Indianapolis Colts will meet the Houston Texans. DFS draft GMs cant tune to CBS TV at 1PM Eastern Time to track the scoring results from the roster fantasy picks.

Both teams are 6-7 and are tied for first place in the division. The first meeting was won by Indianapolis on October 8th by the score of 27-20. The Texans were able to move the football but struggled in the red zone converting just 1 of 3 chances. Houston was able to gain 444 yards on the Colts defense. Brian Hoyer threw for 312 yards with two touchdowns and a pick in that contest.

The news surrounding this game has been the injuries on both sides. Houston Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer is out with a concussion. Veteran T.J. Yates will be under center for the Texans.

On the Colts side Andrew Luck is still out with his kidney laceration. Matt Hasselbeck has filled in for the past four weeks. In Hasselbeck’s past two games under center he has thrown for one touchdown and two picks. In a 51-16 loss last week at Jacksonville Hasselbeck completed just 51.4% of his throws.

Here are the Fantasy Football Picks

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins leads the Texans with 89 catches for 1221 yards and two touchdowns. In the game against the Colts in their first meeting, Hopkins had a monster game by catching 11 passes for 169 yards. Hopkins will be running pass patterns against the 29th and fourth worst passing defense in the NFL as the Colts allow 276 yards passing per game.

Play on DeAndre Hopkins

Houston Texans WR

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Green Bay Packers versus Chicago Bears Fantasy Preview

The Green Bay Packers have lit up the scoreboard the last three meetings with the Bears. In their two meetings in 2014 the Packers put up 38 points in Chicago and the return meeting over two months later saw Green Bay put up 55 points on the Bears defense. The Packers have thrown for over 300 yards in three straight meetings with Chicago.

The Bears have had success in the past rushing the football on Green Bay. With defensive minded head coach John Fox now at the helm he may try to be a bit more balanced with his attack on the Packers defense. The game held in Chicago saw the Bears pile up 235 yards on the ground.

Green Bay Packers WR:

James Jones was signed to a one year contract for the league minimum. One of Aaron Rodgers main targets in Jordy Nelson has been lost for the season and the Packers are looking for depth.

Randall Cobb suffered a shoulder injury in the preseason and is expected to play on Sunday. Cobb had played well against the Bears in their two meetings last year as he caught three receiving touchdowns with 185 yards combined in the home and away contests.

Green Bay Packers QB:

Aaron Rodgers threw ten touchdown passes in the two games against Chicago last year for a combined 617 yards. He completed a combined 40 of 55 throws.

Chicago Bears QB:

Jay Cutler is turnover prone. In his two games against the Packers in 2014 he threw for 528 yards combined with three touchdowns and four picks. With John Fox now as the head coach he may choose to run more.

Chicago Bears RB:

Matt Forte may have a different role with the Bears this year. Marc Trestman was a pass heavy head coach while under John Fox there may be more rushing attempts for Forte. He caught 102 passes in 2014 which was a league high. He ran for 4.6 yards a carry in 2013.

Chicago Bears WR:

Alshon Jeffery has a calf injury and has been reacting positively to treatment. He is listed as questionable for Sunday. In his two games against the Packers last year Jeffery combined for ten catches for 102 yards with one touchdown and he committed his only fumble of the season.

Kansas City Chiefs versus Houston Texas One Day League Draft Preview

It will be the first meeting in two years between these teams. In the 2013 campaign the Chiefs edged the Texans 17-16 at home.

Kansas City Chiefs QB:

Alex Smith will have a capable target in the passing game as the team signed Jeremy Maclin the former Philadelphia Eagle in the offseason. Smith had no touchdown passes to a wide receiver last year. They also added promising rookie Chris Conley. Andy Reid is run heavy so Smith may not have the opportunities to score hefty fantasy points.

Houston Texas RB:

Arian Foster underwent groin surgery during the offseason and is out indefinitely.

Alfred Blue will get an opportunity in his second season to increase his workload. Blue has some good runs outside the 20 during the preseason. He is not very good in short yardage and red zone situations.

Cleveland Browns versus New York Jets What Fantasy Draft Managers Need to Know

The last meeting between the Browns and Jets was in 2013 with New York winning at home 24-13. Two weak offenses from 2014 meet and this could be a very low scoring game.

Cleveland Browns QB:

Josh McCown gets the start but has a weak corps of receivers with Brian Hartline and Dwayne Bowe. The Browns ran poorly last year and provided no help to the passing game. McCown is backup quality and inserted as a starter because there are no other options for this team.

New York Jets QB:

With Geno Smith getting sucker punched by a teammate and out for at least four weeks the starters job will be veteran’s Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Jets upgraded the wide receiver corps with Brandon Marshall out wide with Eric Decker. The question is will the head coach Todd Bowles have enough faith in Fitzpatrick to be anything other than a game manager.

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NFL Fantasy Picks to win each Contest Type

One Day NFL Fantasy drafts are a great alternative for the season long fantasy player looking to add a little more excitement to their fantasy experience while turning their fantasy skill into real money. The issue most crossover players make however is they do not realize the subtle strategy changes necessary to be successful in Daily Fantasy Contests.

One of those such strategy changes is making your picks depending on the contest you are in. There are two broad categories of DFS contests: 50/50s and tournaments. 50/50s are contests (including head to heads) where there are a number of users in the tournament and the top scoring half of users are winners and get $1.80 back for each dollar bet (since the DFS site takes a cut). Tournaments on the other hand pay out to a much smaller portion of the entrants but they pay out in larger amounts, usually graduated to where the first place entrant makes a very large amount.

It’s pretty clear cut that it takes more points scored by your lineup to be in the money in a tournament than it does in a 50/50 contest, however, it is not quite as clear how you should adjust your picks to accommodate that.

50/50 contests

Let’s first look at 50/50 contests and head to heads. In these lineups you are aiming for consistent players and an overall low risk lineup, since scoring a huge point total (and taking on more risk) gives you no more money than the user who just barely exceeds the threshold to score.

While you can go over each individual’s players volatility in performances over the season and recent seasons, it is easier to judge risk positionally. Quarterbacks and running backs for instance have much more consistent fantasy value than wide receivers and tight ends. Don’t take that to mean quarterbacks and running backs score more points however, as while wide receivers and tight ends are just more volatile, meaning they may score 0 points on a day or they may score 40 while a quarterback may be more in a 15-25 point range at the same salary level for example.

In a 50/50 contest however, you don’t need that huge 40 fantasy points value performance from a player. You just need reliable scorers. This means spend a little extra money at that quarterback and running back positions where you can count on them to hit their value, and if you are playing with a flex position, use a running back. Additionally, a running quarterback can be a more reliable fantasy points scorer than a pocket quarterback.

Good 50/50 picks for week 1 at Running Back are Eddie Lacy, Matt Forte, Jamaal Charles, or LeSean McCoy. At Quarterback you can go for shoot for a realiable veteran like Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers or take a shot at a running quarterback like Russell Wilson or Cam Newton.

Tournaments

As you can probably guess, the exact opposite applies to Daily Fantasy Tournament structed contests. These are more aggressive and high stakes contests so you need to match your lineup to that attitude. Scoring a moderately good point total does not help you at all here since you will just end up losing your entry fee. In tournaments you need to choose volatile, high risk players, and hope that this is their week.

This doesn’t mean abandon your quarterback and choose second string running backs, but you can splurge a little extra on the wide receivers, tight ends, and defense.

A strategy that also proves beneficial in NFL tournaments is to pair your quarterback with his receivers. Quarterback and receiver performances are linked so if you pick the right team, you will cash in twice on each play made by that team. Obviously picking the same team increases your risk, but that is the goal in tournaments, all or nothing.

The last important factor in tournaments is what fantasy gurus refer to as a contrarian strategy. This means you choose a player that is likely looked over by your opponents due to poor performance lately or a tough defensive matchup. If you choose a player like this and they do happen to have a big day, that gives you a significant advantage on the majority of your opponents.

On the contrary, if you have a player that is owned by the majority of your opponents, then even if that player plays great, you’re still on the same level as everyone else. Remember, this is a risky strategy though as if a player’s ownership level is low in a contest, there is likely a reason for that and that player is probably not going to play well this week.

Good for your tournament picks you will need to pick a couple high ownership receivers like Demaryius Thomas, Odell Beckham, or Antonio Brown. Personally, I am staying away from Randall Cobb as he will have the highest ownership of any receiver with Jordy Nelson out. If he has a big game if may hurt you, but if he doesn’t, you’ll have a nice leg up on the competition.

Some receivers who will be lesser sought after may be Alshon Jeffery, Mike Evans, Sammy Watkins, and Steve Smith. At tight end, I am expecting ownership of Gronkowski upwards of 60 percent so steer clear of him (especially with Brady out) and look to Julius Thomas or Jason Witten.

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