2014 Fantasy Football: Week 8 Gold Mine

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Jermaine Kearse
Source: Rob Carr/Getty Images North America

The 2014 National Football League regular season is flying by, and as the seasons and weather begin to change so does the landscape of your fantasy football roster.

With players going down with injuries left and right (lost BOTH Buffalo Bills star runners this week) and Calvin Johnson still missing time among many other players, the waiver wire couldn’t be more important to scour.

Week 8 is the last week of fairly decent bye weeks that shouldn’t truly affect your teams all that much, but with half of the league taking a week off in weeks 9 through 11 there is no better time then right now to make sure you are set up for the future. The Giants and 49ers are the only teams off this week, but that could still offer a level of stress as you begin to look for replacements in your lineups.

As always check out the players below who are owned in less than 25% of ESPN leagues. Don’t play on ESPN? That’s okay! We have percentage of ownership for both Yahoo and NFL as well  listed as (ESPN | YAHOO | NFL). [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Football: Week 8 QB and D/ST Streaming Options

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Ryan Tannehill
Source: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America

Defense/Special Teams streaming has been a popular option for a while now for fantasy owners. But quarterback streaming has begun being put into use just recently, it seems. As the demand grows we must meet it with a supply of fantasy articles. Each week I’ll highlight as many appealing quarterbacks and defenses fantasy owners can pick up for that week to stream in their starting lineups. As the season progresses, more options will appear as teams and players are dropped and we discover who’s real and who’s not. If you have any questions about these picks or fantasy football in general, hit me up on Twitter @44AMiller.

Quarterback (Quarterbacks on bye: Colin Kaepernick, Eli Manning)

Carson Palmer (11 percent owned ESPN, 47 percent Yahoo!) – vs. Philadelphia – I can’t take the ESPN ownership number seriously, because I don’t know how Palmer’s only owned in 11 percent of leagues. Even the 47 percent is way too low. Palmer’s surrounded by weapons and is throwing for almost 270 yards as well as two scores in every game. Philadelphia is allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks as they’ve allowed multiple touchdown passes in every game except one. Philly’s three interceptions are tied for the fourth-fewest in the league.

[Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Football Podcast: Week 8 DraftKings Strategy

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Zach Ertz
Source: Rich Schultz/Getty Images North America

Below is a podcast with me discussing daily fantasy strategy for DraftKings in Week 8. It’s about 20 minutes long. I discuss the best plays at each position as well as my general method for researching daily fantasy and making selections. My cheat sheet with projections and the cost per projected point for each played is embedded below. You can also find the podcast on iTunes by searching for ‘thefantasyfix’ in the search bar.

Sign up for DraftKings through us, and DraftKings will match your initial deposit up to $600. By using this link, you’ll also receive a free one-year subscription to our Front Office premium content package.

2014 Fantasy Football: Week 8 Start/Sit

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

I’m pinch-hitting for Brett this week, and taking you through my Start/Sit suggestions for week 8. This is a seamless fit for me, since this very topic is the premise of The Football Fix podcast that I do each week. The goal is to give you players that aren’t locks to start; they fall outside of what I like to call the ‘set it and forget it’ group. As always, we’ll use FantasyPros.com as a point of reference here to show you the guys I like or dislike in Week 8 compared to the other experts there. I’m focusing on guys that are actually on that start/sit bubble in 12-team leagues. For example, there’s no need to tell you I’m higher on Vincent Jackson when I have him ranked #11 and the expert consensus rank (ECR) has him ranked #17. Both rankings have him in the top 24 and tell you to start him.

 

If you have specific start/sit questions, leave them in the comments or find me on twitter, @RyNoonan.

Start ‘Em

Carson Palmer vs. PHI/ECR 13/My Rank 11

The place where my Quarterback ranks deviate most from the ECR this week is in the back half, around 20th overall. I like both Derek Carr and Kyle Orton if you need a deep stream option at the position, but the guy that fits the model here is Carson Palmer. The Cardinals are a different offense when he’s in the lineup, pushing the ball down the field early and often. He faces the Eagles on Sunday, and while their front is fierce, they’re susceptible through the air. Their pass defense ranks 18th in the league according to Football Outsiders DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average). This is the defense that had many pundits enshrining Kirk Cousins in Canton after their week 3 contest. Start Palmer with confidence.

Mark Ingram vs. GB/ECR 24/ My Rank 17

I’m cutting it close with Ingram but feel like he’s worth talking about. Green Bay can be had on the ground, as their run DVOA rank of 22 suggests. Despite the plethora of options in New Orleans, Ingram was taking a strong hold of the lead back position early in the season prior to his wrist injury during the Cleveland game in Week 3. He came back last week with a less than ideal matchup against the Lions top-ranked run defense yet still looked the part of starter, taking the first 6 snaps in the backfield before Khiry Robinson saw the field. A key fumble by Robinson against Detroit, and the shoulder injury sustained by Pierre Thomas in the same game, makes Ingram quite interesting both this week and beyond.

Others worth mentioning: Denard Robinson (ECR 27/My Rank 22) and Bishop Sankey (ECR29/My Rank 24)

James Jones @ CLE/ECR 40/ My Rank 26

I love me some James Jones this week. Here’s me quoting me, taken from the Daily Fix Wide Receiver preview for week 8:

The Raiders remain the pass-heaviest team in the league at 66% with Jones being the most targeted and established weapon on the team. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the play of young Derek Carr, and he’s likely to take advantage of the Browns inability to cover their opponents’ top option. They’re in the bottom three of DVOA against WR1’s this season. Since his quiet start (3 target/1 touchdown performance in Week 1), Jones has been targeted an average of eight times per contest over the past five outings.

Start Jones with confidence this week.

Others worth mentioning: Mohamed Sanu (ECR 29/My Rank 24) and Keenan Allen (ECR 31/My Rank 23)

Sit ‘Em

Doug Martin vs. MIN/ECR 25/My Rank 31

I’ll probably move him down even further. I just don’t think this is a special player, and I think sooner than later we’ll see that the Buccaneers coaching staff agrees with me. I can’t think of another player in recent memory that’s earned more trust from the fantasy community with so few ‘stud’ performances under his belt. Doug Martin DOMINATED the Raiders one Sunday afternoon during his rookie season, and has since devastated the fantasy hopes and dreams of anyone that’s owned him. He’s been replacement level at best and despite a cozy matchup at home against a fair soft Vikings run defense, keep Martin on your bench unless you’re desperate for a warm body at running back. Deep leagues, stash Charles Sims.

Terrance Williams vs. WAS/ECR 25/My Rank 38

This is very different than Doug Martin, because I like the player here a lot. I just don’t like the usage. He’s hard to bench right now, especially in standard leagues, because he has 6 touchdowns on the season. He’s just targeted so infrequently, he’s hard to trust. He has just 5 catches over the past 3 weeks, but that’s masked by the fact that he continues to get in the end zone. Dallas is starting to throw the ball a bit more of late, they aren’t quite as run-heavy as they were in September. Still, I can’t trust that Williams will continue to convert his limited opportunities into touchdowns at this rate moving forward, and neither should you. In PPR leagues especially, leave Williams on the pine this week.

Travis Kelce vs. STL/ECR 10/My Rank 13

Here’s where I WANT to be wrong. I wanted to see Kansas City come off of their bye and do something different with Kelce moving forward. Sadly, that’s not what happened last week. Kelce was once again under-utilized, barely showing up until the final drive. He played just 53.3% of the snaps last week, and ran a minuscule 22 routes. It’s great that he leads all qualifying TE’s in yards-per-route-run (2.79), but he’s last in routes (just 110). Ugh. That’s just dumb. We finally saw what he can do against the Patriots a few weeks ago on Monday night, but for some reason he’s coach continues to keep ‘Baby Gronk’ under wraps. I’m sitting him.

2014 Fantasy Football: Week 7 NFC Target Report

Photo credit: Mark Runyon | Pro Football Schedules

Photo credit: Mark Runyon | Pro Football Schedules

If you happened to miss the AFC version of this article that was released earlier today, you can check it out right here. For those unfamiliar with the formatting, five players will be examined based on their usage in the passing game and an attempt to describe what it means from a fantasy standpoint is the goal in the end. The first number in parentheses is the number of targets followed by the percentage of targets caught. Additionally, the targets for said player will be listed to the right on a week-by-week basis. Time to get the Week 7 NFC Targets Report started.

Roddy White – (55 targets/50.9% targets caught) 7-8-DNP-14-4-6-15

It was hard to predict a breakout game for White against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 7 considering they had allowed the second-fewest touchdowns to WR in the NFL entering the game. But he did just that as he posted a 9-100-1 line and his 15 targets were a season-high. With big expectations for him entering the year, his average of 11.61 PPR points is rather disheartening. To this point, White is the 30th ranked player in PPR formats. Owners who drafted him to be a WR2 instead of WR3 are still waiting for him to put it together on a consistent basis. Excluding his injury-plagued 2013 season, White’s 58.8 yards per game is his lowest output since 2006. He’s currently only on pace for a 64-882-7 line.

The 32-year-old has been hampered by nagging injuries throughout the last two years after never missing a game during the first eight NFL seasons. It appears that White is no longer an ironman. The Atlanta Falcons lack offensive cohesion due to a shoddy offensive line and Matt Ryan underperforming isn’t helping matters either. Add in the fact that Julio Jones is the clear-cut number one option among the Falcons pass-catching corps and you have yourself a tricky situation. Jones has been dealing with foot issues again recently and if he were to ever miss time White would be a fantasy monster once again. Owners can hang their hat on the fact that White is seeing 9.2 targets a game and should continue to be a low-end WR2/high-end WR3 until further notice. Temper expectations in Week 8 though as he goes up against the Detroit Lions top passing defense. [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Football: Week 7 AFC Target Report

Photo credit: Mark Runyon I Pro Football Schedules

Photo credit: Mark Runyon | Pro Football Schedules

If you happen to be unfamiliar with the formatting, I will examine the usage of five players by their targets and attempt to describe what it means in relation to said player’s fantasy value. Targets and the percentage of targets caught will be in parentheses to the right. Additionally, the targets will be displayed on a week-to-week basis to the right of the parentheses. Without further ado, the Week 7 AFC Target Report is now live.

Demaryius Thomas – (64 targets/60.9% targets caught) 11-7-9-BYE-16-12-9

After struggling with a case of butterfingers during Denver’s first three games, Thomas has been the best wideout in fantasy football by a mile over the last three games. During that time, he scored an incredible 108.1 points in PPR formats and his 8-171-2 showing against the San Francisco 49ers last week was the icing on top for owners. Over the first six games, Thomas is averaging 10.7 targets a game and his 64 targets are the eighth highest total in the NFL. He is a YAC monster and his average yards per game (110.3) would be a career-high, while his yards per reception (17.0) would be just behind his career-high of 17.2 back in 2011.

Furthermore, Thomas has already posted three 100-yard performances while also hauling in six touchdowns. The 26-year-old out of Georgia Tech is on pace for a mind-blowing 104-1,765-16 line, and I wouldn’t put anything past this guy. There may be some down weeks due to Peyton Manning having an abundance of options in guys like Julius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and Wes Welker, but there is no reason to worry. Trailing only Antonio Brown and Jordy Nelson in points, Thomas is locked in as a top-3 WR the rest of the way. He faces the San Diego Chargers in Week 8. [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Football: Jarvis Landry in PPR, Standard, and Daily Leagues

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Jarvis Landry
Source: Cliff McBride/Getty Images North America

After catching four passes in three consecutive games, Jarvis Landry has popped up on the radar of most PPR leagues and is approaching ownable status in standard formats. The 6”0 rookie has supplanted Brandon Gibson as the team’s primary slot receiver, and on a team with a deep ball challenged quarterback that is a valuable and consistent source of catches.

With Ryan Tannehill as the team’s signal caller, a player who primarily runs intermediate routes should see substantial targets while on the field. Currently Landry looks like he is third in line for targets behind Mike Wallace and Charles Clay, but with the offense of the Dolphins in general looking more competent than earlier in the season, I am a fan of Landry going forward. [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Football Podcast: Week 8 Preview

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Host Ryan Noonan (@RyNoonan) is joined by Alan Harrison (@TheFantasyFix) to preview Week 8 of the NFL season.

2014 College Football: CFB DFS Week 9 — Late Only

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Cody Fajardo
Source: Harry How/Getty Images North America

Below are my favorite plays from various price ranges at each position for this week’s late college football contests on DraftKings. Within each price range, players are listed in the order in which I would prefer to roster them. If you’re looking for additional CFB DFS content, check out the work of Ben Pritchett of FantasyInsiders.com (@naturalslugger) and Chris Kay of LuDawgs.com (@realestchriskay).

You can read my breakdown of the early contests on DraftKings here.

Quarterbacks

High (Priced above $7,000)

Cody Fajardo / Nevada / $9,200 / @Hawaii

Aside from wanting Jafardo in a lineup so you have a reason to stay up until midnight and later to watch Nevada and Hawaii, you want him in a lineup because he’s the best QB option in this slate of games. I would normally prefer Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett, but Fajardo’s matchup with Hawaii is just too good. And Fajardo has been used heavily with good results recently. In his last three games he has at least 48 opportunities (pass attempts plus rushes) with at least three touchdowns in each game. And he has seven rushing touchdowns in his last four games. Pay up. [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Football Daily Fix: Week 8 Tight Ends

DailyFixDKFeaturedImageIt is on to week 8 of Daily Fantasy Football at DraftKings. I’m back again this week to offer my picks for the Tight End position at DraftKings. Last week showed that the more you know, the more you don’t know sometime as we saw Gavin Escobar, Cooper Helfet and Jeff Cumberland put up relatively big numbers last week. So, let’s see if we can find one of those diamonds in the rough for Week 8 DFS slate.

This is a great week to check out DraftKings and pick up a new way to play fantasy football.

DraftKings Tight End Recommendations

If you’ve never played on DraftKings before, you can get a deposit bonus by signing up. And there are different options to pick from at DraftKings for any skill level.

Also, a gentle reminder on the scoring for Tight Ends – this is a PPR site so remember that when selecting players. The full for scoring for Tight Ends is at the end of this column.

Tight Ends can also be used in the flex position at DraftKings. However, with the entire world of RBs and WRs at your disposal, it would be unlikely you’d have to head to the TEs to pick up a flex play. Jimmy Graham is always in play as a flex option.

Let’s take a look at a couple of options at each price point. For those who are new to the column, I’ll generally look at a couple of options in each pricing tier broken out based on the socioeconomic status of 1970s sitcom families. And I’ll always cover Jimmy Graham. [Read more...]