Ten 2020 NFL Fantasy Sleepers to Target The NFL Draft is just under a month away. There could be a handful of interesting players added to the 2020 sleeper discussion once the draft concludes. However, there are players who have changed teams or players now with new opportunities because of these changes. Sometimes, seasons lost to injury can erase players from fantasy team owners’ target lists. Changing teams can also dramatically improve a players’ usage. A couple new additions to a defense can transform an average unit into a valuable fantasy option. When you’re armed with good information ahead of your league’s fantasy football draft, you can easily manipulate your strategy to know when to take these types of potential sleepers. Here’s our top-10 heading into 2020, broken down into two from each of the primary roster spots on a fantasy lineup. Quarterback Cam Newton – When you’re a former NFL Most Valuable Player, you have talent. Injuries can reduce a players’ potential effectiveness, but not always. There are also players who enjoy making monkeys out of naysayers. Cam Newton is that type of player. Anyone having watched him take control of a game during the height of his health…
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Ranking the Top-10 Fantasy Defenses Heading Into 2020 In the real world of professional football, defenses have a tendency to improve greatly the chances of winning a championship. However, gone are the days when this single attribute could pilot a squad to the ultimate NFL glory. In fantasy football, there are similarities. Like the real deal, rarely can a defense make up for woeful deficiencies at the skill positions on your roster. Nevertheless, a weak link at your DST spot can steal fantasy points. When the final horn sounds at the end of the week’s last game, a poor defense could tank your team’s chance at a fantasy football victory. So, without sticking your neck out in the early rounds of your fantasy draft, and missing out on a key skill player, how can you make sure you have at least a serviceable unit as your DST? Well, to begin with, know your team defense rankings. Here’s a look at a projected list of the top-10 ranked defenses heading into 2020. #1 New England Patriots – When you finish as the number one overall defense in the NFL, and then get a little better, you’re going to get nods as…
The Top-20 Ranked Fantasy Football Players for 2020 We’re just about three weeks away from the 2020 NFL Draft, where a new crop of players will be added to the fantasy football fanatic’s wish list. Nevertheless, most of the top-ranked players heading into a new fantasy season are already established based on previous performance. Without trying to project which rookie skill-position players might crack the top ranks, we’re going to lay out who we think the top twenty position players will be as things stand right now. We picked the top-20 to cover two-rounds worth of fantasy draft picks in a 10-team league. If you’re playing in a fantasy football league with more than 10 teams, you’re going to have to look elsewhere to fill up a complete second-round of your draft. Here’s our top-20 rank list. We’re using a standard scoring format in leagues that credit points per reception (PPR). #1 Christian McCaffrey RB Carolina – We just cannot discount the numbers from 2019, despite questions marks about the Panthers’ offensive focus heading forward. McCaffrey amassed more than a thousand yards on the ground and through the air. Only the Chargers Austin Ekeler was even close to those types…
How Madden Can Improve upon Madden 19 At this juncture, Madden is really less of a game than an institution. You generally know what you’re going to get from a Madden game, for good or for ill. That’s not always a bad thing, of course, but it can be a little stifling for those who want a more innovative football game. Since Madden really is the only option available at this point for gamers, it’s natural to want the series to make a few improvements every year. Even though Madden 19 is a thoroughly solid game, there’s clearly a lot of room for changes in the future. Madden 19 Madden 19 is probably the most ‘Madden’ that the game has been in a very long time. There are some real improvements made with this iteration – Real Player Motion, for example, absolutely breathes new (if imperfect) life into the running game – but what you’re really getting from the game is small improvements over the old formula. Ultimate Team is around, but without the contract system and with a new solo battle mode. Franchise is still around, but now you have a few extra options and some interesting bells and…
Winning on DraftKings NFL 101 Winning on DraftKings requires more than just a little good luck. While some good fortune never hurts, the consistent winners are lineups with a solid base of highly-projected stars, perfectly blended with the right sleepers. Being good at picking those sleepers is the mark of consistent fantasy sports winner. With the massive number of lineups that can be entered in any given contest, owning a little piece of uniqueness can help as well. Here are some tips to working within the salary cap to put together a lineup with a higher probability of being in the money. We’ve divided each segment up by sport, with some special tips on special contests and tournaments with big cash payouts. How to win NFL Contests on Draft Kings There are some to winning at any daily fantasy format. Most involve a little persistent research. On the other side of the coin, there are some sure ways to lose. If you miss an inactive tag on a player in your lineup, you can almost guarantee you’re fall out of the money. Watch for Injury Updates Keeping a fully active lineup is essential, but making sure that lineup has a…
WR – Adam Humphries – Adam Humphries is widely available around the industry and has produced double-digit scoring weeks in three of his last four. Humphries is better suited for PPR scoring leagues, given the touchdown production isn’t going to hold like last week. We have seen DeSean Jackson start to fade in snaps, as he voiced his displeasure for Tampa. Humphries has played over 50 snaps in every week since the bye in Week 5. Humphries has 26 targets over the last three weeks, and Tampa Bay’s defense is going to continuously keep the volume high for the Bucs passing game. Humphries is worth a look in a WR3 or FLEX role as the Bye Weeks keep coming. WR – Courtland Sutton – For those in leagues where some are a little late to the party, Courtland Sutton is still out there for you. In more competitive leagues, Sutton could have been picked up last week. The Demaryius Thomas trade has opened up snaps and targets for Denver, and Sutton played over 50 snaps last week. He has seen 70% of the team snaps anyway this season, but targets will be more consistent. Sutton has an extremely favorable schedule…
2020 Fantasy Football Draft Strategies
This is my favorite time of year! Preparation for the fantasy football draft. The 2020 NFL schedule is out and my favorite team, the Atlanta Falcons have a tough road ahead. I use Lineups.com for all my NFL fantasy research, because I own the site! Lineups has fantasy football rankings live for the 2020 season. They rank every player in every position with up to 350 players.
According to Lineups.com, the Falcons open up as a 4 point underdog against the Vikings. When prepping for your draft, remember to take into consideration the NFL Bye Weeks schedule. The Falcons have a bye week in Week 9, so that means I need to draft or pickup some offensive fire power on the waiver wire. My team will be chalk full of Falcons from Matt Ryan to Julio Jones.
Let’s jump into one of the classic draft strategies, dating back to the stone age. A running back with your first two picks. Simple, reliable, safe, there is a lot to like about this strategy. Running backs have now become by committee, and just an incredibly stale selection to choose from. Missing out on an elite back can set you back big time. I just don’t like to play with fire when it comes to running backs. It is like going to a restaurant and ordering the same dish each time. You know it is going to be good, and you won’t be disappointed. The other positions are far deeper than the running back spot, so grabbing two solid backs early is a safe strategy.
The league has become a passing league, whether you like it or not. There are quite a few elite wide receivers, who are first round options. Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant, those types of players. Not that wide receivers were ever not an important position, but over the last few seasons, these guys turned teams into league champions. The Randal Cobb’s, the Mike Evans’, have all blossomed in the passing league, while maybe in an era before this would have not. 16 touchdowns from a wide out is very valuable. Now this strategy views both running backs and wide receivers as equals, regardless of position scarcity. Take the best available from a pick-by-pick basis, and try and hit on one of those mid-tier players later in the draft. When you end up choosing between players like Mark Ingram, Carlos Hyde, and Lamar Miller as a reliable back, you just have to hope your research pays off.
So about that passing league thing, we don’t need quarterbacks in the first three rounds anymore. 25-30 touchdowns seems to be standard for half of the league’s quarterbacks, and they also flirt or pass for over 4,000 yards. There are elite arms like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Andrew Luck who kind of get a pass, but still Tony Romo in the latter half of the draft is a steal. So skip the quarterbacks early, land all those skill position players, and then worry about an arm. Phillip Rivers, Matthew Stafford, Ryan Tannehill are all likely going to be there when you feel like you need a quarterback.
Taking shots on rookie players can be risky, but the odds are starting to turn in your favor. Wide receivers are coming in at a record pace and making an impact in this league. In a passing league, they are starting to produce earlier, and have more fantasy impact. This season also features a few rookie running backs. Two risky picks don’t always make a right one, but this can happen. Drafting Jonathan Stewart in hopes of staying healthy, while drafting Ameer Abdullah later on to minimize the risk. Chances are one hits, so two risky picks can often lead to fantasy gold. Whether it is kicking it old school with back-to-back running backs, or loading up in the passing game, strategies can shift throughout a draft. Best strategy is to not overthink, you know because that is easy to do.
Journey Into Daily Fantasy Football
I have been playing fantasy sports for a little over ten years. I started on Yahoo Sports. Hopping into my dad’s work leagues when they needed fill-in players, or keeping it fun with the family leagues, fantasy sports has been a hobby for some time. Drafting guys like Shaun Alexander, Brian Westbrook, and even Larry Johnson for those few seasons of dominance, those were my childhood fantasy heroes. Getting home after soccer to do a quick mock draft before dinner was my thing, needless to say I loved the fantasy sports world.
Season long fantasy holds a special place in my heart, and with the changing times of daily fantasy sports, it will always stay there. A year after I turned 18, I moved from Arizona to Massachusetts, which plays a big role in all this. Arizona does not allow residents to play daily fantasy sports for money, and still up until this day. Sitting at home watching football on a cold winter day, my dad sent me an invite to join FanDuel. FanDuel was the first big site to really emerge in daily fantasy sports. Being a seasoned fantasy player already, I jumped right into it. It was the divisional round of the 2012 playoffs, and I will never forget it.
I put in $25 into one tournament, with just a single lineup. The 49ers were taking on the Packers, and this is the game you had to have players in to win. Colin Kaepernick torched the Packers’ defense for 444 total yards, and four scores. I also had paired him with Michael Crabtree, who hauled in 119 yards, and two scores. This set me up for a nice $300 winning in my first go. So I played again the next week, Julio Jones went for 182 yards and two scores. He was the player I needed, while everyone else chipped in around him. Boom! $400 bucks over two weeks of playing fantasy football in the playoffs.
Those two weeks turned my life a different direction. I have been an avid fan of all sports, and the sites were offering daily tournaments for all the major sports leagues. I started playing basketball, hockey, and baseball, to make it a year round job. Seeing the growth from the beginning has been very impressive. Prize pools of $35,000 have turned into $10,000,000. ESPN, CBS, Yahoo are all covering daily fantasy sports, and now Yahoo has launched their own platform. This is a booming industry, and it is a lot of fun to be a part of. Not to be cheesy, but that saying, “do what you love” is exactly this. This has not hindered my involvement in season long leagues, it just keeps me a busy guy.
As you start your journey into DFS, you’ll inevitably find your resources that help you the most. Daily Fantasy Cafe offers everything you need including what I consider to the top FanDuel NFL lineup optimizer. No other lineup generator allows the type of customization and features. This tool helps a novice play like a shark.
Daily Fantasy Landscape
The season-long fantasy football industry had already been growing over the last 5-10 year. ESPN segments, podcasts, magazines, you name it. Now things are changing again, and moving towards a different style of fantasy football. Daily leagues incorporate a lot of season-long aspects of fantasy football, just in a much smaller time sense. You can blame it on the ADD generation, as our attention spans get smaller and smaller each year, but daily fantasy football is here and ready to be the prime way to play fantasy sports. Season-long is not getting wiped off the map, it is now just for those who still love the classic vinyl sound of music. I am one of those people, but it doesn’t mean I don’t use a streaming service too.
The daily fantasy industry really kicked off with FanDuel arriving as the big site, which was later rivaled by DraftKings. Both sites have continuously grown from year-to-year in contest prize payouts, advertising, experiences, and acquiring smaller sites. These sites have utilized guerrilla marketing tactics and relied heavily upon large TV ad budgets. Their commercials can be seen all day every day, each offering a promo code on TV for new signups. The Draftkings tv promo code enables users to go online and enter a code to receive a bonus when making a deposit. The Fanduel promo code does the same and with millions of users seeing these codes, signups jumped dramatically. These two sites are the big sharks, but now Yahoo is trying to get in on the action. They rolled out their platform this summer, which had some flaws, but was yet another simplistic daily fantasy site on the market. Football is the big sport which every site aims their best prizes towards, and that shall be no different with Yahoo. They are the first of the major sites to enter the daily fantasy world, and could possibly lead the way to others. DraftKings and FanDuel have partnered with many professional sports teams for advertising and other perks. DraftKings has offered court-side seat tournaments, suite seats at baseball games, these contests are more than just money. Although, money is a big part of why we play.
Prize payouts were in the thousands back in 2012, and have gradually grown by a hefty amount. DraftKings offered the industries’ first million dollar first prize last season, giving them an edge over FanDuel. This did not stop players from filling contests on FanDuel, showing how big the industry is already. In 2015, DraftKings is now offering a two million dollar prize tournament, and FanDuel has made the jump to a million dollar first prize tournament. DraftKings seems to be one step ahead of the game. So where does that leave Yahoo? They are in third place behind the two, and quite a ways behind. Not that there isn’t room for a third major site, but more so at this time we have a good thing going. I see them making a big splash soon, but DraftKings and FanDuel will lead the way for a long time.
Overall we are looking at an industry centered on sports lovers who enjoy fantasy sports. The games are fun, the industry is creating businesses for others, and overall it feels like one big league. The first few years have been a lot of fun, and I am excited to see where we are in another five years.