I’ve spent a total of 45-60 minutes trying to come up with a good introduction for this article, trying to talk about everything from Jewish activities on Christmas, to learning about past mistakes in DFS and applying that to the next week, and nothing has stuck. So I’ll mention one thing before I begin the actual article. Apparently Derek Carr is playing against Amari Cooper in a Season-Long Championship Game, and Cooper finished with 2 receptions for 10 yards, with the longest reception being 7 yards.
I’ve about had it with Fantasy Football.
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Week 15 Review
Week 15 saw user mcauley15 win Razzball’s Week 15 Contest, so props to him/her. However, I will break down Fanduel’s Sunday Million, because we can better analyze the difference-making plays that makes the difference in a Large GPPs, which I mostly focus on. User dank18 took advantage of the shootout that was Broncos-Steelers. Here were some of his plays.
Brock Osweiler (30.74 pts, 0.4% Owned) – With an extremely low salary, a plus-sized matchup, a High Vegas Total game, with many threats (Sanders had a #RevengeGame), I cannot believe he was higher-owned.
Antonio Brown (38.9 pts, 7% Owned) – He does not care about the matchup.
Emmanuel Sanders (31.5 pts, 0.8% Owned) – #RevengeGame with a plus-sized matchup.
Patriots D/ST (18 pts, 8.8% Owned) – Heavy home favorites against an ineffective offense (Mariota also got hurt, which helped).
Alright, that does it for the review, like I said before, some of the reasoning behind such plays are crucial behind lineup construction for the next week.
DFS Thoughts with Zachary Robinson
This Week’s Topic- Researching & Being Contrarian
I just got back from watching a Best-Picture worthy film, The Big Short, and I won’t give too much away (because I really do believe everyone should watch it), but the main premise behind the movie is that one Hedge-Fund Manager (Christian Bale) “profited” off of the 2008 Economic Collapse by doing one simple thing: Reading. He read things and analyzed the fine print that others simply did not read for.
I will hopefully write full articles about these mini-topics during the offseason, but I will quickly break down what to look for at each position (and it certainly can change week-to-week)
QB’s- A great QB is usually owned under 10% on the Fanduel Thursday Slates, in a game with a high Vegas Total or O/U, and usually faces a poor defense. HB’s- Usually one chalk play (See David Johnson Week 15), and one cheap (low-owned) back with enough volume to be considered important, and (usually) has a good matchup. WR’s- Receivers don’t live and die by matchups like HB’s or QB’s (See DeAndre Hopkins Week 8), but they can help. Usually in a game with a high Vegas Total or O/U, and has had a progression of TD’s, Targets, etc. One should usually select One chalk, mid-range, and contrarian WR’s. Storylines help. TE’s- Being contrarian CAN help, but usually Gronk, Jordan Reed, Gary Barnidge or Greg Olsen will do just fine. K’s- Team favorites in good weather should be what you look for. D/ST’s- Home favorites against a weak QB/Offense is what you should look for.
Alrighty, let’s unpack Week 16.
Week 16 Preview
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT ($8,900) – All throughout the year, Roethlisberger has put up fantasy points due to the fact that the Steelers D is suspect, and they found themselves in that spot versus Denver and Seattle, where Big Ben threw for a combined 836 yards, and could find themselves in that situation this week as well. Baltimore-Pittsburgh has the 4th-highest Vegas Total at 47 points, with the Steelers being 10-pt favorites. Baltimore ranks 22nd against QB’s in the NFL, and 29th against WR’s, meaning they are very vulnerable in the air. Just look at Week 12, where they gave up 282 yards and 2 TD’s to Johnny Manziel. Also, Roethlisberger has the best receiver in football, in case you forgot.
Aaron Rodgers, GB ($8,500) – No longer are the days when Rodgers is priced at $9,200, as his priced has dropped by $1,200 to begin the year. This fact alone qualifies Rodgers to be the High Plains Drifter and the Contrarian Play of the week, but let’s dig a little deeper. Arizona-Green Bay has the highest Vegas Total of the week at 50 combined points between the two teams. Arizona is pretty average against the pass, ranking 18th, however they have surrendered 335 yards and 1 TD in Week 14, and 362 yards and 2 TD’s in Week 15, and have given up 2+ TD’s in 6 of 15 games. To top it off, they also lost DB Tyrann Matthieu for the year. The game-script is also in Rodgers’ favor, as the Packers pass the ball in the Redzone 78% of the time. Rodgers checks in at 0.50% owned on the Thursday Slates.
Jameis Winston, TB ($7,300) – A strong candidate for ROY, Winston followed up a poor performance at the Saints with a 363 yard, 2 TD performance against the Los Angeles…er… St. Louis Rams. The Bucs are 3-pt home favorites against the Bears D that ranks 31st against QB’s, where their CB’s allow a 120.2 QB rating, and Kyle Fuller and Tracy Porter have allowed a combined 10 TD’s thrown their way. The upside with Winston is there, with his ceiling being around 31 fantasy points.
*A Quick Note on HB David Johnson– Yes, he has balled these last few weeks, however I am uneasy about him. Not only does he face a Rush D that ranks 7th against HB’s, but fellow back Andre Ellington will play this week, cutting into Johnson’s workload. The fact that he was 33.50% owned on the Thursday Slates means that if he does bust, he won’t ruin your lineup, but I would proceed with caution.
DeAngelo Williams, PIT ($7,400) – A great chalk “pivot” play off of David Johnson, Antonio Brown, and Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers are 10-pt favorites against the Ravens, with a Vegas Total of 47 points. In my opinion, I believe his floor is around 8 points, and his ceiling is around 33 points, which has both the safety for Cash games and perfect for GPP’s. Williams averages 18.3 touches and 3.4 catches on the year, but ever since Le’veon Bell’s injury, Williams averages 22.8/120.5/1 per game. He’s very consistent, as Williams has scored 5 TD’s in the last 4 games, and 89% of games started has resulted in either 1 TD or 100+ yards from scrimmage.
Cameron Artis-Payne, CAR ($5,600) – At only 5.6k, CAP doesn’t need many fantasy points to return value if the volume of work is there, and it’s there. CAR-ATL has the 3rd-highest Vegas Total at 47.5 pts, and Carolina are 6.5 favorites. Atlanta ranks 28th against HB’s, also ranking 2nd in the NFL in games allowing 2+ rush TD’s at 6 games. Even with another back in the picture, CAP had a 40% snap rate with 14 touches, and HC Ron Rivera came out and stated that the gameplan against Atlanta will be the same like last week, and game-script is huge when selecting HB’s.
Darren McFadden, DAL ($7,000) – With QB Kellen Moore under gun, Dez Bryant doubtful for Week 16, and a Buffalo Rush D that ranks 26th against Running Backs, all the signs point to a good game for Run-DMC. He has averaged 133 yards and 0.8 TD’s in the past 3 weeks, with an average of 16.3 touches during that time span. On the year, however, he has had a 57% snap rate with 58% of games started has resulted in either 100+ yards from scrimmage or a TD. HC Jason Garrett also has praised McFadden in the media, claiming that he stands out with his physical and mental toughness.
Mike Gillislee, BUF ($5,300) – Talk about a GPP, risky, rewardy, low-owned play that will take major stones for someone to play. I’ll do it, though. Why? I’d like to start off my reasoning that Gillislee is frickin’ talented. Here’s a clip of his highlights back at UF, and here’s a clip of his 60-yard TD last week (Starts at 1:20). Next are the basic stats, that the Bills are 6-pt home favorites against a D that ranks 21st against the run, and Buffalo ranks 6th in the NFL in Rushing TD’s in the Red-Zone. Also, Greg Roman, the OC, and Rex Ryan both have praised Gillislee to the point where they have man-crushes on him. When the entire field will be on Karlos Williams, have the wits to realize Gillislee, NOT Williams, will lead the Bills in carries. Remember, when McCoy went down last week, Gillislee ended up with 4/181/1. Pull the trigger.
Kamar Aiken, BAL ($6,600) – Pittsburgh-Baltimore has the 4th-highest Vegas Total at 47 points, where Baltimore is the underdog, so it is likely for them to throw once behind, and to who else but Kamar Aiken, as Pittsburgh ranks dead-last in the NFL against WR’s, giving up 2+ pass TD’s in 50% of the games they’ve played. Aiken comes off of a 8/128/1 game against the Chiefs, and has been producing on the year, averaging close to 8 targets per game. Aiken checks in at 5.10% owned on the Fanduel Thursday Slates.
Allen Robinson, JAX ($8,400) – What a breakout year Robinson has had. And this week should hold another great performance once again from Robinson. New Orleans ranks 27th in the NFL against WR’s, as the Saints have allowed 2+ passing TD’s in 78.6% of games, an NFL-best. Robinson is great in GPPs and Cash Games due to his floor being around 6 pts, and his ceiling close to 30, with a good upside play in a plus-sized matchup. Robinson has been consistent all year, averaging 9.5 targets per game, and has had either a TD or 100 yards from scrimmage in 79% of games this year. The narrative could also be there, as Robinson could be a little chipped about not being a Pro-Bowler despite his fantastic year.
Antonio Brown, PIT ($9,300) – Brown is by far the best WR in the NFL, and is absolutely unstoppable. He ranks 3rd in the NFL with 11.8 targets per game with an 18.0% usage rate for targets per game. Baltimore-Pittsburgh has a Vegas Total of 47 points, where Pittsburgh is favored by a TD and a FG. It also advances Brown’s cause that the Ravens rank 29th against WR’s in the NFL, and have allowed 2+ TD’s in 64.3% of games this year. He has the highest floor, highest ceiling of any WR in the NFL.
Eric Decker, NYJ ($7,600) – We have to look past the matchup on paper, because New England still gives up an average of 21.4 points per game to WR’s, because the 2nd-main threat of the opposing offense tends to do well (See Dorial Green-Beckham last week), and Eric Decker is the perfect candidate to have a good day on Sunday with New England focusing its energy on Brandon Marshall. However, Decker is still very good, only averaging one less target per game than Marshall at 9 targets per game. NE-NYJ also has sneaky shootout potential with a Vegas Total at 45.5 points. Decker also leads the NFL in Red-zone targets, and has been very consistent on the year, as he has 80 yards or a TD in every single game this year. Decker checks in at 3.40% owned on the Thursday Slates.
Julius Thomas, JAX ($6,500) – He has the best matchup of the week for TE’s, as the Saints rank dead-last in the NFL against TE’s, giving up an average of 11.6 points per game. Thomas has averaged 13.8 points in the last 4 weeks, averaging 7.2 targets per game, and has had either 100+ yards from scrimmage or a TD in 5 games this year. Thomas checks in at 10% owned on the Fanduel Thursday Slates.
Kickers and D/ST’s-
Chris Boswell ($5,000) – A high Vegas Total game with the Steelers being 10-point favorites.
Alright kids, go read a book.
You Can Follow Zachary On Twitter @ohuhave12.