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What RBs to Sit/Start Week 17 Clear Starts Austin Ekeler Christian McCaffrey Dalvin Cook Saquon Barkley Tony Pollard Alvin Kamara Nick Chubb Josh Jacobs Aaron Jones Interesting Borderline Cases Tyler Allgeier (Start vs Cardinals) After splitting the backfield with Cordarelle Patterson for much of the latter half of the season, Arthur Smith went all in on Allgeier in week 16, giving him 22 of the team’s 36 carries. Whether it’s a move for next season or simply an admission of Patterson’s age, Allgeier seems like the clear bellwether back for this Falcons team to finish off the season. To make matters even better for the rookie RB’s fantasy stock heading into Week 17, the Falcons look to take on a sputtering Cardinals team that has graded out as one of the worst run defenses in the NFL, surrendering over 100 yards last week to one of the worst rushing offenses in the NFL in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Zonovan Knight (Start vs Seahawks) Only the Texans have allowed more yards per carry to opposing running backs than the Seattle Seahawks. Giving up over 7 yards a carry, the Seahawks run defense — and front 7 in general— has been the…
With the NFL Draft fresh in everyone’s minds, there are some potential targets that dynasty owners should be thinking about trading for. These are guys who either just took a hit to their stock, or their stock has been on the decline for some time. You always want to try and strike a deal for a player when the public opinion falls beneath the actual talent and value of said player. For now, these are my top choices for value when looking to add players to your squad. Now, not all fantasy managers will think the same, and some managers will not give you value for any of the following players. You have to make sure when you target a buy-low candidate that you actually get to buy low on their value. Tee Higgins – WR Many thought the Bengals would go Penei Sewell, and with that scenario in mind, managers were ecstatic about the idea of Higgins getting more targets and really becoming the number one air option on the team. However, Ja’Marr Chase was the selection at number 5 overall, and this has led to a drastic overreaction by the fantasy community. Tee Higgins, in his first year,…
Selling dynasty players at the height of their value is hard. It feels like you shouldn’t be doing it, but when that player is at their peak, that is actually precisely when you should be trading them. Of course, if you are a top-tier team and you would rather just hold on to some of these high-valued players, that makes perfect sense. However, I truly believe that all four of these players are going to see a steady decline in value over the next year to two years. So, remember that sell high targets does not equate to giving the players away. It means that if you can get market value for them, then you are getting the better value in the trade due to inflation. There are tons of different scenarios and reasons to keep some of these guys. However, if you are in a rebuild and have any one of these assets, you should be looking to move them as soon as possible. These trades will only help you in the long run if you are not competing this year. Alvin Kamara If you take anything away from this article, please let it be selling high on Alvin…
Today we are going over the best possible realistic landing spot for each of the top 8 rookies who are not QBs. When it comes to QBs, nothing is too interesting. We know that Trevor Lawrence is going to the Jaguars, and Zach Wilson is going to the Jets. While write-ups on Fields, Lance, and Jones could be intriguing, the best case for each is going to Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers at #3. For the rest of these top players, let us pick the best possible spot that they could go to. Ja’Marr Chase Cincinnati Bengals Ja’Marr Chase being reunited with Joe Burrow is absolutely the best-case scenario for his fantasy value. Out of the possible teams that could take Chase, Joe Burrow is by far the best arm, and the Bengals are in the best spot for Chase, fantasy-wise. The Dolphins and Lions are two other projected landing spots, but Burrow is a better QB than Tua and Goff. On top of that, the Bengals defense is not very good, which means that the team will be airing it out a ton. I know many are worried that Burrow will die behind the offensive line if the team…
It is prime dynasty season, and fantasy players are looking for value. There have been a ton of players that have seemingly dropped off a cliff when it comes to the hype but have extreme upside that you can probably get for cheap. One way that I would target the players that we are going to talk about is by throwing them in as “sweeteners” in bigger deals. Many times a player will not want a deal to fall through because you added one of these lower-valued targets at the moment. However, in reality, you are getting a great deal on a guy who is simply suffering from some negative perception right now. In Keeper leagues, none of these players have a load of value, but if your league keeps players based on the round they were drafted in and is deeper with 5-10 keepers, then some of these names may be extremely enticing for you. Denzel Mims My favorite buy-low target is Denzel Mims. Now, not everyone is low on Mims, but you have to at least try and contact the fantasy player who is rostering him. As of right now, it seems fairly certain that Zach Wilson will…
Recently, Underdog Fantasy has opened the best ball drafts for the 2021 NFL season. After participating in a few tournament lineups I went ahead and joined my first 12-team league for a $5 buy-in. I was sat in the 6th spot, which I always hate but especially hate this year. I wanted to try something new out, and I went ahead and grabbed Kelce with my first pick. This draft should give you a decent idea of how your team could look with that elite TE slotted in with your first pick. While I am not in love with this draft, I did get a lot of my favorite best ball targets. For those unfamiliar, Underdog has an 18 man roster, and the starting lineup each week is 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 FLEX, 1 TE. The scoring is standard .5 PPR. Draft 1.6 Travis Kelce (KC – TE) My thought process with drafting Kelce revolved around the fact that all the elite RBs I want for best ball, Cook, CMC, Barkley, Henry, and Kamara, were gone. It was between Kelce and Devante Adams. I figured since Kelce finished as the WR #4 last year, but as a…
With the NFL Draft approaching, dynasty fantasy players will be glued and zoned in to see where their favorite targets land and begin to plan out their strategies for the 2021 rookie draft. However, there are some players that have seemingly slipped past many fantasy players’ radars. With the right situation, some of these rookies could not only end up as good taxi squad candidates but good value in their rookie season. However, you should always be looking for upside with your rookie sleepers. You have those taxi spots for a reason. Do not waste them on guys who are somewhat hyped but will never be fantasy relevant. Target the big plays to put in your taxi squad. You should keep an eye out during your dynasty draft for these players as well as the waivers following the conclusion of the draft. Amari Rodgers WR – Clemson We are going to start off with my most underrated player in the 2021 NFL Draft and 2021 fantasy season. Rodgers is 21 years old and sits at 5’10 210 pounds. However, it is not the measurables that impress me with Rodgers. When it comes to a smaller-slot WR, I cannot picture a…
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…
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…
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 has a tough road ahead. I use Lineups.com for all my NFL fantasy research because I own the site! Lineups has fantasy football rankings, sportsbook reviews, and the best BetMGM bonus code online. They rank every player in every position with up to 350 players and grade each mobile app.
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 pick up some offensive firepower on the waiver wire. My team will be chock-full of Falcons from Matt Ryan to Julio Jones.
Image Credit: Lineups.com
The next stats I look at are snap counts and how each NFL team depth chart is looking. These are critical elements when deciding who to draft.
Image Credit: NFL Depth Charts on Lineups.com
Every year we hit the mocks a little earlier, and start prepping for our fantasy football leagues. Strategies change year-to-year, as well as right in the middle of a draft. Dynasty, PPR, IDP, auction, keeper, and re-draft leagues have all brought out the best of our fantasy football strategies. The latest rave has been grabbing quarterbacks very late in the draft or streaming them the entire season. Drafting a kicker before your last pick is also frowned upon. So what if I want Stephen Gostkowski early? Just kidding, no way I am touching a kicker early.
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 wideout 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 the 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 hit, 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. The 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 in 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 the resources that help you the most. Daily Fantasy Cafe offers everything you need including what I consider 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 years. 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 its 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.