There have been plenty of articles put out in this short fantasy season about Andrew Luck (on this site, we’ve talked about whether to panic or not here) and more importantly his early season struggles. And rightly so. After being the top fantasy QB in the league last year, expectations were sky high for the promising young signal caller, who was the beneficiary of 3 new (well…some old) toys this off-season. Through 4 weeks, Luck has largely disappointed, but if you’ve read our previous articles you know we have urged you not to panic. Now, instead of trying to analyze what else is wrong, we’re going to conduct a bit of an experiment to try to see if we can find something that everyone else was missing – a warning sign given off last year that would have signaled a decline in performance out of the top QB in the fantasy game.
Entering the season, Miami’s offense was expected to produce at an elite level. After a promising 2014, Ryan Tannehill was expected to take his game to the next level. Lamar Miller is fresh off a 1,000 yard rushing season with 8 TDs. In his rookie year, Jarvis Landry had 84 receptions on 111 targets. Additions through free agency and the draft helped improve an already formidable offense. Kenny Stills was added through a trade with New Orleans. Jordan Cameron was signed through free agency. DeVante Parker was selected with the 14th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. All were receiving threats added to an already talented offense.
Now, four games into the 2015 season, Joe Philbin has been fired. Tight ends coach, Dan Campbell, has taken over as interim head coach. The Dolphins are 1-3 and are sitting in the basement of a talented AFC East division. A Bill Lazor led offense has not returned fantasy value through four games. This leads us to the question, “Are the Phins Fried?”
While Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals was not Todd Gurley’s first NFL game, he caught everyone’s attention in week 4. Gurley’s first game was in week 3 against Pittsburgh, in which he had 6 rushing attempts for 9 yards. He was returning from a torn ACL he suffered while in college with the Georgia Bulldogs (as pictured) last year and they wanted to ease him into the lineup as he gets up to speed after missing the entire preseason. However, after rushing for 146 yards on 19 attempts (an incredible 7.68 yards per carry!) the Rams can no longer afford to gradually incorporate him into their offense.
Week 4 saw many players vie for the fantasy throne. Some heroes from years past rose up from the ashes to rekindle their fearsome reputations, some new warriors put forth truly legendary efforts while cementing their place in the week 5 history books, several very popular characters fell on the field of battle in both glorious and inglorious manners, and just about every kicker stiffened up into a white walker when they were needed the most. Jeremy Hill scored 3 touchdowns which NO ONE saw coming, Devonta Freeman went ballistic once again scoring three more touchdowns of his own which EVERYONE saw coming, and Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, and Odell Beckham Jr. were all held in check to the surprise and chagrin of fantasy owners everywhere. It was truly a remarkable week with some new faces emerging.
As we head into what I like to call “trade season” in fantasy football, it’s important as an owner to avoid panicking.
That is, of course, unless you’re 0-3.
If you’re 0-3, by all means panic. Panic hard. Stop sleeping, quit your job, neglect your wife, start drinking heavily, become friends with Stephen Halupka. Just a few suggestions.
I kid, but if you are off to a tough start this year it’s important you begin looking at each week as a semi-playoff scenario.
You need wins, and I’m here to help you get ’em.
With two teams on a bye this week (and more to come) you’re likely looking for help at quarterback and perhaps wide receiver.
As a reminder: no I’m not going to go through every game and list out players from each team that should be in your lineup, and you can always refer to my rankings for position-by-position advice.
My Friday column is designed to highlight certain players at each position that I believe to be poised for either a great weekend (based on match up, usage, etc.) or a flop.
Also, “Pick” means “Start” and “Kick” means “Sit” … I like to be different, just go with it.
Hey everyone and welcome back to my weekly FanDuel plays. Week 3 we saw a ton of high scoring players, and I hope my tips were able to win you some cold, hard cash. Week 4 is our first week of byes (No Gronk), but there are still plenty of great match-ups and plays. Let’s dive right into it!
Start Tyrod Taylor $7,600 – Taylor has been one of the nice surprises this season at Quarterback. He currently averages 22 points per game and is going against a weak Giants defense. Tyrod has been effective because of his legs. He ran for over 40 yards in each of his first two games. This gives an added dimension to the QB position you cannot take for granted. For this price, I’ll take Tyrod all day long.
The NFL season, as well as the fantasy football season, normally turns out to be a war of attrition. Players suffer season ending injuries, are traded and released or just benched for being ineffective. Hopefully, you’ve weathered the early season storm to be relevant in all of your season long leagues, but in case you are 0-3 and have 0 hope of clawing your way back into the mix, DFS is here for you, and DraftKings is in particular.
Not only does it feel good to make back some or all of your league fees from playing DFS (if not your just playing for bragging rights or fun), but if you end up winning some extra cash it can be a glorious day. On top of the cash, playing on DraftKings can make watching the full slate of Sunday games much more enjoyable once you know your season long team has suffered yet another loss.
I’ll find the plays for week 4 on DraftKings that will help you recoup some of those entry fees and recap how I fared in week 3. Continue reading DraftKings Plays for Week 4
Thursday Night Football. It’s a gift and a curse for fantasy football players. On the one hand, who doesn’t love their football spread out across even more of the week? TNF fills the dull void between waiver processing and game action on Sundays. On the other hand, games played earlier in the week cause matchup dilemmas and allow players less rest and teams less time to prepare, which in turn can impact their performance. The first of these “annoyances” is generally unavoidable – say your star player’s game is Sunday, but is given that dreaded questionable tag on Thursday after practice and your backup plays on TNF, but has a really tough matchup and you think your star will play but can’t afford the goose egg so….ARGH! We’ve all been there and it’s not fun, but sometimes it’s just not avoidable. The second issue of impacted performance is something echoed by many NFL players in the league, but has always been something of an urban legend in the fantasy world. Do players really play that much worse on Thursday night? Enough to impact lineup choices? Or is the whole thing just a myth used to frighten novice fantasy players? I needed to know the answer, so I decided to perform an in depth study to observe the statistics behind the myth and reach a conclusion once and for all.
We are already three weeks into the fantasy season and for the second straight week a top flight fantasy QB was lost for an extended period of time to injury. Following Tony Romo going down the week before, Ben Roethlisberger was lost to an MCL sprain and knee bruise for 4-6 weeks, with most reports expecting closer to the latter. Thus presenting a quandary for a good amount of fantasy owners nationwide, do you hold onto the injured star or part ways and acquire a player that can better help you get some wins over the next month?
Adding to the QB’s already out due to injury is the fact that this week starts the bye week stretch in the NFL that will take us right through week 11. Only two teams are off this coming week 4, New England and Tennessee. However, Week’s 5-11 at least four teams are off every week with the exception of week 9 where a whopping 6 teams are off. Now just focusing on week four means four starting QB’s will be out for sure with a fifth potentially if Jay Cutler does not come back from his hamstring injury.
What do you do? Is the answer the same for each player? Does it matter how you have started the season? Let’s examine these players one by one below….. Continue reading Quarterbacks and Injuries, To Hold or not to Hold, That is the question: