Thursday, December 31, 2015

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: December 31, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
It looks like taking Christmas Eve off did the NBA schedule some favors, as we have a six-game Thursday night on tap after a ten-game Wednesday. Talk about balance. Just like Wednesday, there are many players listed as questionable at the time of this writing whose status’ will be made clear throughout the day, or just before tip. That could make this list obsolete by the afternoon, but here goes.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: December 30, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
First off, I must issue an apology to Tuesday’s slate, which I called U-G-L-Y. The Bucks, Thunder, Hawks and Rockets took offense to that and promptly lit up the scoreboards to destroy Vegas’ point totals for those games. Luckily I had a piece of guys like Kent Bazemore, Paul Millsap, Russell Westbrook, Dwight Howard and Khris Middleton to limit my own Andre Drummond-related disappointment. We’ve got 10 games on tap for Wednesday with lots of injury question marks, so let’s get to it.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Ryan Fitzpatrick Has Been Great, But Brandon Marshall is the Jets' MVP

Photo credit:
Since the Jets lost four of five games to fall to 5-5 and the calls to replace Ryan Fitzpatrick started (oops!), the 33-year-old signal-caller has been nothing but outstanding in leading the Jets to five straight wins. Sure, he still can't challenge defenses down the field and makes a handful of truly ugly throws per game, but he's limited mistakes with just one interception in that span compared to 13 touchdowns. The Jets can live with his flaws if that continues.

Fitzpatrick has been great over the past month, and the Jets are obviously a confident football team with him at the helm. That much is undeniable. But now Fitzpatrick is garnering some MVP chatter when he isn't even the most valuable player on his own offense.

That honor belongs to wide receiver Brandon Marshall, another player the Jets traded a Day 3 pick for in the offseason. To say that general manager Mike Maccagnan hit a few home runs by trading a fifth-round pick for Marshall and what has now become a sixth-round pick for Fitzpatrick might be the understatement of the year. Their presence has completely transformed the Jets offense, but it's Marshall who has been the biggest difference-maker.

Read the rest at Pro Football Spot

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: December 29, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
U-G-L-Y. Those four letters tell you all you need to know about Tuesday’s slate. It’s about the worst five-game slate I’ve seen in a while, with very few players I’d be interested in playing on a normal night. Then again, everything is relative and there are still some guys who are better plays than others. Let’s take a look at what Vegas thinks about Tuesday’s games.

Read the rest at the Fantasy Fix ($)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Week 15 Rookie Report: Artis-Payne, Hunter step up for playoff-bound teams

Photo credit: Draft Insider
No new rookies from the top 80 of the 2015 NFL draft made a notable impact in Week 15, while many mid-round guys continue to see increased playing time as the season winds down, many due to injuries. This week’s offensive rookies found themselves filling in for high-profile players on playoff teams, while the defensive players that made the report have been playing effective football for a few weeks now, also for contenders. Chris Tripodi takes a look in this week’s Rookie Report. 

Cameron Artis-Payne (RB-Car)

With injury-prone starting running back Jonathan Stewart finally succumbing to an ailment, Artis-Payne headed into Week 15 with an increased opportunity in the Carolina backfield. A late fifth-round pick out of Auburn who Draft Insider had rated as a third-round prospect, Artis-Payne led the Panthers backs with 14 carries for 59 yards and two catches for 34.

Read the rest at Draft Insider

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: December 26, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
After an off day Thursday and a five-game Christmas Day slate, the NBA returns in full force with 13 games Saturday. The two early matchups won’t be included in DraftKings’ big tournaments, so they won’t be included in my picks here despite the fact that those games provide some top-notch DFS plays. Let’s take a look at the Vegas lines for Saturday. 

Vegas lines and totals

Houston @ New Orleans (-1.5) – total of 211.5
Memphis @ Charlotte (-3) – total of 194.5
Miami @ Orlando (-3.5) – total of 190.5
Boston @ Detroit (-1) – total of 204.5
New York @ Atlanta (-7.5) – total of 201.5
Indiana (-4.5) @ Minnesota – total of 206.5
Chicago @ Dallas (-3.5) – total of 201.5
Denver @ San Antonio (-14) – total of 194.5
Philadelphia @ Phoenix (-12) – total of 204
Los Angeles Clippers @ Utah (PK) – total of 195.5
Cleveland (-7) @ Portland – total of 197

Rockets and Pelicans should be a fun game filled with lots of offense and terrible, terrible defense. A game only a DFS player could love, if you may. Chicago-Dallas is another nice-looking fantasy matchup with a few others over 200. Overall, though, this slate is lacking firepower for the amount of games it provides. With that in mind, let’s see who the top picks of the day are.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix (Free!)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: December 23, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
My Tuesday picks were pretty helpful in terms of cash-game success, so here’s hoping that having more options Wednesday will make that even better. With 13 games on the NBA slate and only four teams off, almost every player in the league is an option. Let’s take a look at what the books think of Wednesday’s action.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: December 22, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
I usually don’t use these pieces as a sounding board for my own bad beats, but Kevin Durant made it necessary Monday night. Sitting in 13th of 13,000-plus entrants in the late $3 Sharpshooter with 10 seconds left in the Thunder-Clippers game, I was sitting pretty at about 45x buy-in (you can do that math, I bet). One game-winning shot later, and that number dropped to about 30x and put me back in 18th. It also knocked me out of my all-night cash game with 290 points. 290!! Durant’s game-sealing block dropped me down to 20x, and here I am tilting looking at Tuesday’s slate.

But there’s no choice but to get back at it, although the NBA has “blessed” up with only four games and none that look terribly appealing from a DFS standpoint. It’s my job to find the appealing plays of the night, though, so read on if you want to put together your own “almost-there” GPP-winning team.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: December 19, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
Not including the 5 p.m. blowout special between the Lakers and Thunder, which isn’t in any of DraftKings’ big-money tournaments, Saturday offers DFS players a four-game NBA slate to choose from. It’s a solid slate with four competitive games and none featuring lockdown defensive teams, which could lead to some relatively high fantasy scores even with just a handful of games. Let’s take a look at the Vegas lines for each game to start.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Dissecting DraftKings for NFL Week 15

Photo credit:
Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin stayed hot in Seattle and kept my bankroll rising in Week 14. Even my teams with Jameis Winston and Austin Seferian-Jenkins cashed easily, as my receiver picks of Baldwin, Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall paid off handsomely, not to mention the fact that Winston and ASJ's low prices made their slow games easier to stomach. On to Week 15, with just three regular-season weeks to play of the NFL season.

Read the rest at Pro Football Spot

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: December 17, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
The NBA schedule started off extremely balanced, but has fallen back to its old ways of late. After a 12-game Wednesday night, Thursday features just three games, but all least they all project to be close games after a blowout-filled Wednesday.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Week 14 Rookie Report: 49ers, Agholor step up, Vikings' Harris fills in

Photo credit:
Two first-round picks made the Rookie Report for the first time this season in Week 14, which says a lot about how their respective seasons have gone to this point. One plays for San Francisco, which also had a mid-round pick play well in his first career start this week. In addition, an undrafted safety made a positive impression in prime time in a possible audition for a starting spot down the line. Chris Tripodi breaks down what he saw from a new batch of first-year players in this week’s Rookie Report.

Nelson Agholor (WR-Phi)

The Eagles entered the 2015 NFL draft in need of a playmaker on offense to complement possession receiver Jordan Matthews. By drafting Agholor with the 20th pick of the first round, Philadelphia thought it was getting just that, a 6-0, 198-pound receiver with sub-4.4 speed.

Instead, all the Eagles had gotten through 13 weeks was 16 receptions and 163 scoreless yards from Agholor, who has struggled to adjust to a starting role as a rookie, as Draft Insider’s Tony Pauline suggested would be the case in Agholor’s scouting report. The former USC star finally found the end zone in Week 14 and finished with three catches for 62 yards on six targets.

Read the rest at Draft Insider

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: December 13, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
Sunday’s three-game slate is a slight letdown after the NBA scheduled nine games on Saturday, but such is life as the NFL season tails down. The Wolves and Suns play a 3:30 matinee but DraftKings’ big tournaments only include the games from 6 p.m. on, so those will be the only ones covered here. There are plenty of good plays in that early game, though, if you do play the all-day slate.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Dissecting DraftKings for NFL Week 14

Photo credit:
Cam Newton, David Johnson, DeAngelo Williams and Antonio Brown led me to the DFS promised land last week, as all four turned in monster performances that made cashing easy in cash games and even a few GPPs regardless of the other players I used. Let's see what's in store for Week 14, as many-season long players turn to DFS with their regular teams out of the playoffs.

Read the rest at Pro Football Spot

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: December 10, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
After a jam-packed Wednesday slate that included 10 games, we’re back down to four contests in Thursday’s NBA action. I finally ended my slump and erased any losses from the past few weeks with some process changes and a big Wednesday performance, and Thursday is a great day to keep the momentum rolling despite the short slate.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Week 13 Rookie Report: David Johnson and DGB bust out, Frank Clark and Eddie Goldman flash on defense

Photo credit:
This week was the week of the high-upside second-round pick around the NFL. Three players drafted on Day 2, two of whom were potential first-rounders who slipped into the top 10 picks of the second round, made big impacts for their teams in Week 13. Add in a third-round rookie running back who has an opportunity to run with the starting job on the league’s best offense, and you have an exciting group of rookie performers this week. Chris Tripodi breaks them all down. 

David Johnson (RB-Ari)

A third-round pick out of Northern Iowa, David Johnson jumped from third-string to starter in the span of one week thanks to injuries to the backs ahead of him on the depth chart. With Chris Johnson placed on injured reserve with a broken leg and Andre Ellington struggling with turf toe, the younger Johnson rushed for 99 yards and 22 carries and caught two passes for 21 yards and a touchdown.

Johnson ran a 4.5 40-yard dash at 6-1, 224 pounds, and while his athleticism has been on display all season in a limited role, it had an extended chance to shine through in Sunday’s win over the Rams. On Johnson’s first carry, which went for six yards, he jumped over a fallen defender just past the line of scrimmage without losing momentum, falling forward for extra yardage at the end of the run.

Read the rest at Draft Insider

Sunday, December 6, 2015

New York Jets need to dust off Dee Milliner

Photo credit:
The Jets' once-vaunted stable of cornerbacks is falling apart. Darrelle Revis is set to miss his second straight game with a concussion, and replacement Marcus Williams is doubtful with an MCL sprain. Williams filled in admirably for Revis against the Dolphins before going down, and now the Jets will have to scramble to fill the spot opposite Antonio Cromartie.

Cromartie's poor play has made him a cut candidate heading into next season and Darrin Walls, despite decent play in past opportunities, is just a guy. Todd Bowles would prefer to keep Buster Skrine in the slot, which leaves the responsibility for covering Odell Beckham Jr. to Cromartie or Walls.

Obviously Bowles will scheme a safety over the top against Beckham, especially with the Giants' overall lack of weapons outside of their second-year star, but both Cromartie and Walls are candidates to get roasted underneath by Beckham. With that in mind, it's time for the Jets to give third-year corner Dee Milliner a chance.

Read the rest at Pro Football Spot

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: December 5, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
Saturday’s 10-game slate is the largest in almost a week, but two of those games will happen well
before the standard 8 p.m. start time, meaning they won’t be included here since DraftKings doesn’t include them in their big tournaments. That still leaves eight games, including one juicy one for daily fantasy purposes.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dissecting DraftKings for NFL Week 13

Photo credit:
The story of the NFL and fantasy football season, as it usually is, has become injuries, especially at the RB position. Many of the top cash-game plays at the position are players who started the season as backups, and Week 13 will be no different.

Read the rest at Pro Football Spot

Week 12 Rookie Report: Coleman, Parker step in and two Giants step up in loss

Photo credit:
Two highly touted skill players finally got their opportunities to shine in Week 12, as both Tevin Coleman and DeVante Parker were expected to make immediate impacts for their teams after being drafted. Instead, both have dealt with injuries as rookies this year and were thrust into action last weekend after their teammates found themselves sidelined by ailments of their own. Two Giants rookies made the list as well, one of whom was a relative unknown heading into the week. Chris Tripodi breaks down a new batch of rookies for Week 12.

Tevin Coleman (RB-Atl)

When the Falcons drafted Tevin Coleman early in the third round of the 2015 draft, it was presumed they wanted him to be their starting running back, with Devonta Freeman working as a change-of-pace. Both players had 29 touches through two weeks before Coleman missed Weeks 3 and 4 with a rib injury, opening up the backfield for Freeman.

Freeman ran away with the job over the next seven games, playing like one of the best backs in football. A concussion early in last week’s game against the Colts knocked him out early and kept him out of Week 12’s loss to the Vikings, giving Coleman the opportunity to step up. The rookie responded with his first career 100-yard game, rushing for 110 yards on 18 carries.

Read the rest at Draft Insider

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: December 1, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
Tuesday’s slate has just six games and none with an over/under above 206 points. There also aren’t any games with a total under 197, giving DFS players a rare balanced slate to pick off matchups and value plays to make the best teams possible.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Monday, November 30, 2015

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: November 30, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
A second straight eight-game NBA slate really bears out the balance commissioner Adam Silver was
looking for in the schedule this year. All in all, its a pretty decent night with a couple high-scoring games and a couple that aren’t quite as appealing. Let’s take a look at Monday top plays.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: November 29, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
There are eight NBA games being played Sunday, but two of them are in the early time slots. With the big GPPs only including the late night games, today’s picks will also only include the games starting at 6 p.m. or later. There’s still a good amount of players to choose from, so let’s get right to it.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Dissecting DraftKings for NFL Week 12

Photo credit:
Last week was a tough one for injuries and Devonta Freeman going down cost me multiple cashes,
just barely too. Unrelated to those injuries, it's time to shake up the format of this article a little bit. Rather than treating tournament plays separately, they'll be looked at in terms of stacks, both between a quarterback and his weapons and a running back and his defense.

The top cash-game plays will still come the same way, along with additional tournament picks, and hopefully this can delineate better between the two formats. For obvious reasons, anybody listed as a top cash-game play is viable in GPPs, but may be highly owned.

Read the rest at Pro Football Spot

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: November 28, 2015

Photo  credit: Getty Images
After taking Thursday off and providing us with a big 14-game slate Friday, the NBA has fallen back to an average slate Saturday with seven games, one of which projects to be the definition of racehorse basketball. Let’s waste no time in getting to the breakdown and trying to project Saturday’s action here.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Week 11 Rookie Report: Allen gets his shot, Nelson flashes deep-ball skills

Photo credit:
At this point in the NFL season, the injuries are really starting to pile up, even for teams that remained relatively healthy through the first two months. The last few weeks have been particularly devastating for some teams, with the Baltimore Ravens at the top of the list. Their rookie fourth-round running back stepped into a bigger role this week with Justin Forsett injured, but he wasn’t the only rookie to show out with extra playing time. Chris Tripodi takes a look at Week 11’s impact first-year talents.

Javorius Allen (RB-Bal)

For the second straight season, the Ravens drafted a big running back in the fourth round to add depth behind a smaller, injured veteran. Last year, it was Coastal Carolina’s Lorenzo Taliaferro, a 6-0, 225-pound back who slotted in behind starter Ray Rice.

This season, Javorius “Buck” Allen from USC was drafted as insurance for Justin Forsett, who emerged after Rice’s release in 2014. With Taliaferro on injured reserve and Forsett breaking his arm early in Sunday’s win over the Rams, Allen carried the load for Baltimore, rushing 22 times for 67 yards and catching five passes out of the backfield for 48 yards.

Read the rest at Draft Insider

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: November 25, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
The NBA is off on Thanksgiving Thursday to make way for the all-day slate of NFL games, which means we have a big 12-game slate planned for Wednesday before the league goes on hiatus for a day. With 24 of 30 teams in actions, there’s tons of injury news and good matchups to make for some exciting plays in the last NBA action before the holiday.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

It's time for New York Jets to start Geno Smith at quarterback

Photo credit:
With their 24-17 loss in Houston on Sunday, the New York Jets have fallen into a four-way tie for the AFC's final Wild Card spot. Previously tied with just the Buffalo Bills, the Jets now have to contend with the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans at 5-5 as well.

The Bills and Texans are treading water while the Jets trend down, and the Chiefs are red hot with four straight wins following a 1-4 start. On the surface, it may seem like the Jets have a decent chance of making the playoffs, but a New York Times simulator disagrees, putting their chances of making the playoffs at 12 percent. The Chiefs sit at 79 percent, the Texans at 39 and the Bills at 36. Kansas City has an easy schedule down the stretch, while New York faces three teams with at least five wins and the Dallas Cowboys, who are 3-0 with Tony Romo under center.

My preseason sentiment after Ryan Fitzpatrick was named the starter was that the Jets' ceiling was 8-8, even with a potentially solid running game and a good defense. I was eating plenty of crow after the team's 4-1 start, but now it appears that the Jets' ultimate ceiling is, in fact, what I thought it was. 

Read the rest at Pro Football Spot

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: November 21, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
A mild seven-game slate awaits us after an action-packed Friday night in the NBA. Based on the Vegas totals, this projects to be a slightly below-average night from a fantasy perspective, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t stars to play and value to mine. Let’s take a closer look at the slate below.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Dissecting DraftKings for NFL Week 11

Photo credit:
Back in action after a week off from NFL DFS, it's time to forego the long introduction and get right into the top plays of the week. With the Steelers, Giants and Saints all off this week, some solid fantasy options won't be available for players, but there's still plenty of good to choose from.

Top Plays
Derek Carr ($6,300) at DET
Cam Newton ($6,900) vs. WAS
Tom Brady ($8,500) vs. BUF

If Derek Carr was playing at home, he'd be the perfect play, but we'll have to settle for very good. Raiders-Lions projects to be a shootout, and the Detroit secondary has struggled all season. Carr is still priced moderately at $6,300 and has at least 22 fantasy points in four straight games, with two 30-point performances mixed in.

Read the rest at Pro Football Spot 

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: November 19, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
After a plush 10-game Wednesday slate, the NBA has turned back to clock to last season, where light Thursday schedules were commonplace. With just three games on tap, options may be limited, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some good DFS action on the night. Let’s take a look at what Vegas think of this slate.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Week 10 Rookie Report: Langford impresses again, Patriots have another steal

Photo caption:
This week’s Rookie Report has an interesting mix of rookies for evaluation purposes. Three of the  
four players profiled below were viewed as either too raw to make much of an early impact or question marks when it came to effort level, but went in the first two rounds anyway. The only one who had neither of those labels entering the NFL wasn’t taken until Day 3 and has enjoyed a two-week audition for 2016 while replacing his team’s injured starter, who also happens to be a free agent in the offseason. Chris Tripodi reveals the identities of these players and breaks down what he saw in Week 10.

Jeremy Langford (RB-Chi)

Langford made his second straight start in place of the injured Matt Forte on Sunday against a tough Rams defense. After totaling 142 yards and a touchdown on 21 touches the week before in San Diego, Langford turned 20 carries and seven receptions into 182 total yards and two scores to help lead the Bears to a 37-13 win in St. Louis. There’s a chance Forte returns to the lineup in Week 12 but if he doesn’t, Langford has proven he can carry the load successfully against any defense, and the Bears are less likely to rush their starter back as a result.

Read the rest at Draft Insider

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: November 17, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
It’s been an interesting week for this New York DFS player. That sentence speaks for itself, but after a much-needed week away from the game, it’s time to get back on the grind. After a six-game Monday night, the NBA has treated us to a seven-game Tuesday, which is more than enough games to find some good plays but nothing overwhelming. Let’s get to the Vegas lines.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: November 10, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
Last night, the sweat was on. One of my turbo teams was dominating, and I sat in first place of a 4600-man GPP at the end of the third quarter of Spurs-Kings, just needing another good quarter to make a big splash. Unfortunately, the blowout nature of the game kept Tim Duncan on the bench instead of on his way to 40 fantasy points as the Kings and Spurs benches duked it out for much of the final quarter. That, ladies and gentleman, is why you try to avoid projected blowouts in NBA DFS. I’ll take my ninth-place finish, but it could’ve been so much better.

Like Monday, we have another seven-game slate on tap, so let’s get right to it.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: November 9, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
Sunday’s short slate looked boring to start and with the Lakers-Knicks game coming in 15 points under its projection, the only thing that saved it was high-scoring games between the Suns and Thunder and the Pistons and Blazers. If you found a way to get my top plays like Kristaps Porzingis, Andre Drummond, Eric Bledsoe, Russell Westbrook and Robin Lopez or some combination of the five in a lineup together, you likely did pretty well. Monday is back with seven games, and a lot more meat on the bone.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: November 8, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
After the last two nights had 18 games spread nicely across the ledger, Sunday brings us just five, and that’s only if you’re playing the all-day slate on DraftKings. The picks below will assume you have access to all the games. It’s a somewhat ugly slate, so be prepared.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: November 7, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
After Friday’s exciting 10-game slate, Saturday returns with eight games, including two Western Conference matchups that project to be high-scoring and fast-paced. Let’s get right to it, and we will be excluding the 6:05 p.m. game between Minnesota and Chicago, as DraftKings hasn’t included it in their Saturday slate.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Friday, November 6, 2015

Dissecting DraftKings for NFL Week 9

For three straight weeks, Todd Gurley has been a DFS horse. This week, a stingy matchup with Minnesota and an ever-increasing price make Gurley fadeable for the first time in a while. That's not to say playing him is a mistake, but he's no longer the unmistakable value he was, and his opponent certainly plays a part in that. Don't worry, I have a new horse to ride for the time being.

As usual, top plays are more focused on players to play in cash games, but will be solid tournament picks if you diversify your roster elsewhere. Tournament shots are guys who are not safe for cash consideration for full-slate games, but could be difference-makers in a big GPP.

Photo credit:
Top Plays
Philip Rivers ($6,900) vs. CHI
Ben Roethlisberger ($6,600) vs. OAK
Andy Dalton ($6,200) vs. CLE (Thurs.)

Despite three straight weeks over 27 fantasy points and five in a row with at least 24, Philip Rivers is still under $7,000 on DraftKings. He gets a bad Chicago secondary this week at home, and while the loss of Keenan Allen might chop a little off Rivers' ceiling, his floor remains extremely high based on volume alone. One of these games San Diego might get their running game going, but I won't believe it until I see it.

Read the rest at Pro Football Spot

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Week 8 Rookie Report: Melvin Gordon's struggles continue, Kwon Alexander enjoys big game

Photo credit:
With no offensive rookies emerging in Week 8, this week’s Rookie Report will focus mostly on the defensive side of the ball. Two first-year defensive backs recently moved into the starting lineup thanks to injuries to the veterans ahead of them, and both were impressive in their extended opportunities. Meanwhile, a Tampa Bay linebacker broke out with a big game in the Bucs’ win and Chris Tripodi breaks down the struggles of one of the most hyped members of this year’s rookie running back class. 

Melvin Gordon (RB-SD)

After two straight years where no running backs were drafted in the first round, Melvin Gordon became the second runner taken in the top 15 after the Chargers selected him to replace the departed Ryan Mathews. Like the rest of the Chargers outside of the passing game, however, Gordon has struggled this season, topping 55 rushing yards in a game just once and proving to be a non-factor in the passing game. While the second part of that equation was expected based on his lack of receiving production at Wisconsin, Gordon continued to struggle on the ground in Sunday’s loss to Baltimore, carrying 18 times for just 54 yards.

Read the rest at Draft Insider

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Daily fantasy basketball strategy: November 4, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
The first week of the NBA season has come and gone, but we’re back at it again like we are every day with strategies to help you win your cash games and hopefully place well in some GPPs as well. Wednesday gives us a nice 10-game slate, which provides plenty of viable options without overloading us with too many and keeping the new NBA schedule as balanced as it was intended to be.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Good, the bad and the ugly of Geno Smith's return

Photo credit:
With Ryan Fitzpatrick sustaining torn ligaments in his left thumb early in Sunday's loss to the Raiders, Geno Smith got his first chance to play since getting punched in the jaw by IK Enemkpali in the preseason, which opened the door for Fitzpatrick to take the reigns of the Jets' offense. As usual with Smith, there were plenty of ups and downs, just like there have been with Fitzpatrick under center.
Smith's inconsistencies are always more scrutinized than Fitzpatrick's, however. Whether it's because he was a second-round pick from the John Idzik era or because his first two seasons were bordering on atrocious, Smith always seems to get bashed for what he does wrong without receiving credit for what he does well.

The numbers looked good for Smith: 27 of 42 passing, 265 yards, two touchdowns and an interceptions. As usual, however, numbers don't tell the whole story. Let's take a look at what Smith did in his 2015 debut Sunday: the good, the bad and the ugly. 

The Good 

Coming in cold off the bench, it was tough to know what to expect from Smith. Would he go the way of Michael Vick last season, looking unprepared and incapable of moving the offense? Or would he come in with a good understanding of the offense and pick up where the Jets left off?

Read the rest at Pro Football Spot

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: November 1, 2015

Sunday is the sixth day since NBA basketball came back into our lives, and things are starting to come into focus as far as DFS goes. Certain players continue to play above their price points while rotations are starting to shake out as well. By the end of the weekend, most teams will have three games played which, while still a small sample size, gives us some idea into team’s rotations and player roles.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Dissecting DraftKings for NFL Week 8

Photo credit:
No real bad beat stories from Week 7, and thanks to Lamar Miller and others it was a solid week. DeAndre Hopkins and Larry Fitzgerald were busts but as highly owned chalk plays, their poor performances were mitigated in cash games, but they likely did a number on many tournament teams. That's where going against the grain in GPP's pays off.

As usual, top plays are more focused on players to play in cash games, but will be solid tournament picks if you diversify your roster elsewhere. Tournament shots are guys who are not safe for cash consideration on full-slate games, but could be difference-makers in a big GPP.

Read the rest at Pro Football Spot

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: October 29, 2015

If you read this article for the Wednesday night slate, you were likely treated to 45-point performances from Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, James Harden and Danilo Gallinari on your way to some solid return on investment on a 14-game night. Thursday brings us a small three-game slate, and a rather unexciting one at that, if Vegas has anything to say about it.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Week 7 Rookie Report: Yeldon returns, speedy receivers make their mark

Photo credit:
We’re at the point in the NFL season where rookies who didn’t come out of the gate hot have had a month and a half to get their feet wet in the pros, which usually leads to an increased comfort level as October comes to a close. This week’s edition of the Rookie Report features a slow-starting rookie running back who carried his team’s offense to a Week 7 win, as well as two speedy wide receivers who made the most of their opportunities in their team’s victories. Chris Tripodi breaks it all down in this week’s report. 

T.J. Yeldon (RB-Jax)

Just one year after signing Toby Gerhart to a three-year, $10.5 million contract, the Jaguars admitted the failure of that move by drafting T.J. Yeldon with the fourth pick in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Yeldon burst onto the scene as a freshman at Alabama, rushing for 1,108 yards while sharing carries with Eddie Lacy and totaling over 3,000 rushing yards in his three years with the Crimson Tide. Jacksonville saw enough in Yeldon to make him the third running back off the board, hoping he could spark a running game that put too much responsibility on a raw Blake Bortles last season. After missing Week 6 with a groin injury, Yeldon’s career-high 115 yards against the Bills in London on Sunday played an important role in Jacksonville’s close victory.

Read the rest at Draft Insider

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: October 28, 2015

Photo credit: Getty Images
The first night of regular-season NBA DFS is officially in the books, but the real fun starts Wednesday with a 14-game slate. Only the Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks have the night off, which means nearly every NBA player is available for tonight’s action. Stephen Curry‘s huge night was the story Tuesday but unfortunately, the reigning NBA MVP won’t have an opportunity to repeat until Friday. Enough about last night, and on to the jam-packed Wednesday slate.

Read the rest at The Fantasy Fix ($)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Buster Skrine's quick recovery gves Jets' secondary a boost

Photo credit:
Just before halftime of the Jets' Week 6 victory over the Redskins, Buster Skrine left the field with what was later diagnosed as a concussion. Dexter McDougle played well in place of Skrine in the second half, and would have been set for an increased role in Week 7 if Skrine didn't pass through the NFL's mandatory concussion protocol.

After practicing with a non-contact jersey early in the week, Skrine shed the jersey Friday after passing the protocol and is listed as probable for Sunday's game, meaning the Jets' secondary will be at full strength as they prepare to take on Tom Brady in Foxboro. Darrelle Revis still seems likely to shadow Julian Edelman even when the Patriots receiver mans the slot, as Skrine has plenty of outside experience as well.

Skrine's versatility is the big reason his return is so important to the Jets' defense. With Revis set to stick with Edelman in a battle that will likely occur as often inside as it does outside, the Jets need a reliable presence to shore up the boundary when Revis slides to the slot. While McDougle looked good against the Redskins, Kirk Cousins and Tom Brady are in completely different leagues and Brady would very likely have put a target on McDougle's back, thrusting the second-year player into a spotlight he may not yet be fully ready for.

Read the rest at Pro Football Spot

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Dissecting DraftKings for NFL Week 7

Week 5 it was Devonta Freeman. Week 6 it was DeAndre Hopkins. My fading of highly owned players has certainly cost me the past two weeks. My teams performed well enough in Week 5 to survive Freeman's outburst, plus I did have him on a few teams, but playing Hopkins in Week 6 would've made me quite a bit of money, as most of my cash teams finished within 10 points of the money, and he outscored players I played in a similar price range by 20-plus.

Lesson learned on both, as you'll see below. They are STILL underpriced despite rising $1,000 or so from last week. This may be the final week of the season you'll get Hopkins for less than $9,000 and Freeman for under $8,000, and their matchups aren't intimidating. If you can fit both in cash games, do it.

As usual, top plays are more focused on players to play in cash games, but will be solid tournament picks if you diversify your roster elsewhere. Tournament shots are guys who are not safe for cash consideration on full-slate games, but could be difference-makers in a big GPP.

Photo credit:

Top Plays

Carson Palmer ($6,700) vs. BAL
Philip Rivers ($6,500) vs. OAK
Andrew Luck ($7,600) vs. NO

From three road suggestions last week to three home ones this week. Carson Palmer has a great argument for the top spot at QB altogether for cash games regardless of price, as he's yet to score fewer than 18 points in a week. The Ravens are dead last in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks and bottom-five in yards allowed and yards per attempt. Taking into account his price point, Palmer is the unquestioned top play of the week.

Philip Rivers is coming off a 500-yard week in Green Bay, and returns home to San Diego to face the Raiders. Oakland has been an average pass defense so far this season but is elite against the run, although that may not be sustainable. Regardless, the Chargers have struggled on the ground so far this season, and this projects as another high-volume week for Rivers, who has topped 48 pass attempts in each of the past two weeks.

Andrew Luck looked as comfortable as he has all season in last week's loss to the Patriots, and the Colts return home to face a Saints team that allows the second-most yards per attempt so far this season. Luck's priced has dropped from its early-season spot and still keeps him behind Palmer and Rivers, but he's a good option if you have some extra money, or you want to use him in a tournament.

Tournament Shots

Blake Bortles ($5,400) vs. BUF (London)
Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,200) at NE
Drew Brees ($7,000) at IND

Blake Bortles' shoulder issue didn't keep him from throwing 53 passes last week and with seven TD tosses in his past two games, he's as hot as anybody in the fantasy realm, where his subpar completion percentage doesn't count against him. The Bills have struggled to rush the passer this season, which could allow Bortles to work from a clean pocket, a deviation from his norm. A third straight big week is possible, although the floor still feels low.

Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't generally viewed as a high-upside quarterback, but unless the Jets get out to an early lead and can pound Chris Ivory at will, he's going to have to throw. A lot. That may lead to an interception or two, but could also lead to his first 300-yard game of the season. Sprinkle in the potential for multiple touchdowns with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker playing as well as they are, and you could get some nice production at a near-minimum price.

Speaking of shoulder issues, Drew Brees has also bounced back nicely after missing a week of action to rack up three straight 300-yard games. Problem is, his receiving corps is weak enough that he has yet to throw for three touchdowns in a game this season, and he has the fourth-highest price among QBs this week. He's a lock to go very low-owned and if he can pull out a 350-yard, three-TD performance against a poor Colts secondary, he could provide a nice boost if Palmer and Rivers don't explode.

Photo credit:
Running Back

Top Plays

Todd Gurley ($5,000) vs. CLE
Devonta Freeman ($7,900) at TEN
LeSean McCoy ($5,500) vs. JAX (London)

If you don't play Todd Gurley this week, good luck making any money in cash games. He has over 300 rushing yards since taking over the starting job, and the Browns rank dead last in the NFL in rushing yards allowed. No more analysis is needed, and he's a really tough fade in tournaments too. He'll likely be a top play every week until his price rises closer to $7,000.

Freeman has four straight games with over 35 fantasy points and gets a Titans defense that allows 4.7 yards per carry. Sometimes this game plays itself, and that's the case with Gurley and Freeman this week. Fade at your own risk in cash games.

After the top two plays, there is much less clarity this week. LeSean McCoy looked good last week despite claiming he wasn't fully healthy, and the Bills gave him most of the backfield work. The Jaguars allow just 3.4 yards per carry but due to game flow, they've faced almost 30 carries per game and were gashed by Doug Martin in Week 5 away from home before holding Arian Foster in check last week in Jacksonville. Without Tyrod Taylor, Sammy Watkins and Percy Harvin out, this week should be all about McCoy once again, giving him a decent floor at his price in a game the Bills are projected to control as four-point favorites in London.

Tournament Shots

Chris Ivory ($5,800) at NE
Lamar Miller ($4,600) vs. HOU
Christine Michael ($3,000) at NYG
With the Jets instilled as nine-point underdogs in New England this weekend, game-flow concerns will likely keep Chris Ivory from being highly owned. Maybe it's the Jets fan in me, but I'm not buying that spread and think this game will be played within a touchdown. The Jets know they have to ride Ivory to stay in the game, and the Patriots' run defense allows 4.9 yards per carry on fewer than 20 rushes per game. If the Jets stay close and Ivory gets to 20 touches, he could have another nice day with potentially low ownership.

Last week was a great time to use Lamar Miller in a tournament, but this week isn't too bad either with the Dolphins returning home as favorites against the Texans. New coach Dan Campbell is obviously committed to running the ball, unlike Joe Philbin, and Miller is still priced in the low-end RB2 range, which means he's about $1,000 underpriced. Most teams will take Gurley at this price point at RB, meaning Miller could still be somewhat underowned even with some chasing last week's points.

Even at minimum price, Christine Michael is the ultimate boom-or-bust play this week. He's never shown anything at the NFL level and while he may be starting this week, the Giants play solid run defense and his workload is uncertain. He's also likely to be somewhat highly owned, which is why he's only third on my list of tournament shots.

Wide Receiver

Photo credit:
Top Plays

DeAndre Hopkins ($8,600) at MIA
Larry Fitzgerald ($7,400) vs. BAL
Willie Snead ($4,300) at IND
Eric Decker ($5,300) at NE

I'm a week late to the Hopkins party, but I did recommend him in Week 5 on the Thursday slate. Anyway, enough about past regrets, and on to this week. Hopkins has been uncoverable this season, and he's seeing about 15 targets per game. With Brian Hoyer able to get him the ball better than Ryan Mallett, Hopkins' floor and ceiling are each insane. He's scored at least 27 fantasy points in five of six games, and could easily go for 40-plus in any given week. He's a must-play again this week, as Miami doesn't have anybody that can slow him down.

Larry Fitzgerald continues his 2015 resurgence with Carson Palmer under center, and he's yet to truly disappoint this season. A lock for at least 15 points, Fitzgerald gets a primetime matchup with a brutal Baltimore secondary. All members of the Cardinals' passing game are great options this week, with Fitzgerald being the top dog in cash games.

In order to fit players like Freeman, Hopkins and Fitzgerald into lineups, you have to go cheap somewhere. Enter Willie Snead, who looks to be the No. 1 receiver in New Orleans. I have my doubts as to whether Vontae Davis will shadow Snead this week, as I still think the Colts will put him on the more explosive Brandin Cooks. A reliable possession receiver who runs great routes, Snead's floor is high.

Eric Decker started the season overpriced at $6,000, but that has corrected itself over the past few weeks. He has scored in all four games he's played this season, and averaged 6.5 targets per game. That number isn't high enough to sustain great production without the scores, but Decker has a great chance to push 10 targets this week in a game the Jets project to be trailing in. While I don't buy the big spread, the Jets will need to throw to keep up, and any early lead they build will come with some production from Decker. The Patriots tend to shut down opposing No. 1 receivers, making Decker the safer play among Jets receivers this week.

Tournament Shots

John Brown ($5,500)/Michael Floyd ($3,200) vs. BAL
Martavis Bryant ($4,700) at KC
Allen Hurns ($5,300) vs. BUF (London)
Brandon Marshall ($7,800)at NE
I said all members of the Cardinals' passing game were great plays this week, and I meant it. I'll be rolling out a Carson Palmer-Fitzgerald-John Brown-Michael Floyd stack somewhere, and Brown is always a tournament option in good matchups. He's a little boom-or-bust, but he can provide top-five production at a mid-level price. Floyd has been more involved in the offense of late and is always a threat for a long TD or a look in the red zone (he had three last week). Brown will be the higher owned of the two, but both are nice plays.

If we knew Ben Roethlisberger was playing, Bryant would probably graduate to top plays this week over Snead. But with Landry Jones still looking likely to be under center, it's tough to fully trust a boom-or-bust player like Bryant, even at his sub-$5,000 price. He gets a great matchup against the Chiefs, however, who have allowed 14 passing touchdowns, second-most in the NFL. As seen last week, Bryant's ceiling is unreal.

Allen Hurns has been one of the surprises of the young NFL season, and No. 2 receivers have fared better than No. 1 options against the Bills this season. Hurns is $1,100 cheaper than Allen Robinson and while both are viable in a stack with Blake Bortles, Hurns is better as a standalone tournament play. He's shown the potential to push for 30-point weeks.

While I mentioned the Patriots tend to shut down opposing No. 1 receivers, Marshall has been unbelievably consistent this year. While the latter part of that sentence is generally better for cash-game consideration, Marshall could be a contrarian option in the top tier of receivers this week. If he gets an extra boost from expected volume and can beat Bill Belichick's schemes against him, he could post his first 30-point game of the season.

Photo credit:
Tight End

Top Plays

Antonio Gates ($5,000) vs. OAK
Travis Kelce ($4,900) vs. PIT

Antonio Gates is another obvious play this week in cash games, as he gets the Raiders' soft tight-end defense and has been rolling since his return. At an affordable price even with the other studs in great spots, Gates is a must-play in cash.

Travis Kelce could see a boost if Jeremy Maclin misses Week 7, but even if Maclin plays, Kelce should be forced targets against a Steelers defense that has struggled to slow down tight ends this season. The only thing that makes Kelce risky on a week-to-week is Andy Reid's playcalling, and there's a big gap between he and Gates this week. For the extra $100, just use Gates.

Tournament Shots

Julius Thomas ($4,500) vs. BUF (London)
Jacob Tamme ($2,900) at TEN

The Bills are vulnerable up the seam this season, especially with the success Ronald Darby and Stephon Gilmore have found on the outside. Gilmore has been a bit inconsistent himself, but an "up" week from him would be a boon for Thomas, who had seven receptions for 78 yards and a TD last week. Some may still be loathe to trust him coming off injury and being new to the offense, but he's definitely worth a play in tournaments as a pivot off the guaranteed-to-be-popular Gates.

Tamme is a cheap punt against a Titans team that hasn't covered tight ends well this season. If you're playing a lot of high-priced skill guys this week and need a low-priced TE or FLEX play, Tamme is worth a look in case he can get to double digits for the third time in six games. If he can't, he didn't cost much.


Rams ($2,400)
Seahawks ($3,800)
Bills ($3,100)
Redskins ($2,500)

The St. Louis defense is an excellent real-life unit, and comes off its bye week with a solid matchup against the Browns. Josh McCown has surprised this season, but predictably struggled against another strong defense last week against Denver. Only four defenses are cheaper than the Rams this week, and they're a borderline top-five unit. I see very little reason to use another defense this week, and they pair well as a correlation play with Gurley.

The Seahawks have a nice matchup against the 49ers, but Colin Kaepernick has been better of late since people were actually calling for Blaine Gabbert. The Seahawks aren't a bad option for those with some extra money playing the Thursday slate.

The Bills have been a frustrating fantasy defense with their inability to get to the quarterback, despite having tons of pass-rushing talent. Will Rex Ryan adjust this week to get after a shaky Jaguars offensive line? It's tough to say, which renders the Bills just a tournament option.

Washington is another bottom-barrel play as far as price goes, but they host turnover-prone Jameis Winston and the Bucs. Despite being gashed on the ground for two straight weeks, this unit is still solid up front. If they can keep Doug Martin in check and force Winston to throw the ball 30 times, the turnover and scoring potential becomes high. Although for the price tag, it's hard to justify this unit over the Rams for any reason besides the desire to be different.