Weekly Fantasy Football Picks – Week Five

Quarterbacks

  • Philip Rivers – Was every Saint formerly a Charger and every Charger formerly a Saint?  Well, no.  Remember, Brees was the Chargers QB before Rivers was drafted to be the future of the franchise.  Last year, it would have been laughable to think that move worked out long-term.  Tonight in the Big Easy, it may not be so laughable.  I’ll take the value tonight and go with Rivers.  I think both QB’s have a good game.  Take the over in this one.

Running Backs

  • Ray Rice – He is 13th in the NFL in rushing.  He will not finish the season so low.  Games like today is where he gets back to where he is supposed to be near the top.  Plus, everyone is now talking about Flacco.  When everyone is talking about something, it’s the other thing.  Be a contrarian.
  • Adrian Peterson – Ten run D sucks.  Peterson is pretty good.  No more than that.  If you need some value in your daily fantasy football picks, look to Bradshaw on the Giants.

Wide Receivers

  • Jordy Nelson – Even though Indy pass D is pretty good, they are down a few guys on the defensive unit.  Jennings is hurt, so Nelson, who has been improving week to week, is the guy.
  • Julio Jones –  Everyone is talking Roddy White.  Redskins pass D is horrible.  For my way of thinking, that means Julio Jones makes a great pick.

Tight End

  • Dennis Pitta

Kicker

  • Garrett Hartley 

Defense

  • Bears

ValueTown

  • BOBBY MEACHEM – How pissed must he be that he couldn’t get paid in the Big Easy?  How much does he have to prove today?

Pick of the Day

  • Ray Rice.  Costs a lot.  Worth the price today.

Weekly Fantasy Football – Picks for September 23, 2012

Quarterbacks

  • Andy Dalton – The Redskins D is beat up – badly beat up.  Dalton is a young QB ready to accel.  Dalton has passed for 221, then 318 yards, in his first two weeks.  He has some good young receivers, and a running back that can take a little of the pressure off.  I’m going with Dalton, AJ Green, and I’m all over the over in what should be a high scoring affair.

Running Backs

  • Michael Bush
  • DeMarco Murray

Wide Receivers

  • Dez Bryant
  • AJ Green 

Kicker

  • Who Cares – While this isn’t completely true, and I like to “predict” kickers as much as the next guy, predicting kickers is a tough business and virtually impossible.  At this point, I just go with the team I think will score the most points.  Some weekly fantasy football decisions can be researched and an educated decision can be reached.  Kickers isn’t really one of them.  There’s a lot of luck involved.

Defense

  • 49ers – I think the niners will be who they are supposed to be on the road at Minnesota today.  I like them to put up 15 points.

ValueTown

  • Bush
  • AJ Green

Pick of the Day

  • Andy Dalton to AJ Green.  Everyday and twice on this Sunday.

Week Two Daily Fantasy Football Picks

Quarterbacks

  • Drew Brees – Unlike last week, there are not a lot of good, cheap options at quarterback this week.  Brees wasn’t horrible last week, and he and the Saints have a lot to prove at this point.  Last time Brees faced the Panthers – January 1 of this calendar year – he threw for 389 yards and 5 touchdowns.  Anything similar to that today makes him a lock for the best starting fantasy football quarterback of the week.

Running Backs

  • CJ Spiller – I have a feeling he will be a popular pick in weekly/daily fantasy football this week.  He went off for more than 150 yards last week after Fred Jackson got hurt early.  He was the number 9 overall pick in 2010.  He was always supposed to be good.  This is his breakout year!  The Chiefs-Bills game has the making of a high scoring one and I think Spiller contributes to the points.  He is also a resident of valuetown, at least for another few weeks.
  • Adrian Peterson – I kind of thought I’d never pick Peterson as a top start in 2012 and I’d pick Gerhart a couple of times.  Wow how one week can change things.  The Colts do not defend the run very well and Peterson looks ready to excel.  I don’t like other high priced RB’s this week, opting instead for Peterson.

Wide Receivers

  • Reggie Wayne – A few years ago, Wayne as the number one wide out would be expected from week to week.  This year, having the most receiving yards is anything but expected, but it’s exactly what came last week.  And I think it might be the start of a revitalization year.  He needs to resurrect a career and Andrew Luck needs to begin one.  I think Wayne has another good performance in week two.
  • Brandon Gibson –  We need another resident for valuetown, and Gibson is it.  He was a favorite target for Sam Bradford last week and I’m looking for the trend to continue against the Skins this week.

Tight End

  • Jimmy Graham – If you believe in the Brees story this week, you have to believe in the Graham story.  He is a Brees favorite.  Expect he catches at least six balls, even with some double coverage and defensive help in the middle.  In the Saint Panthers game from the 2011 season described above, Graham caught 8 balls for 97 yards and a TD.

Kicker

  • Garrett Hartley – A hyperpowerful offense and an awesome defense will make for a number of field goal tries.  The packers will move the ball through the air pretty well but will have a tough time getting the ball in the end zone.  I like Crosby to start off the 2012 campaign with a bang.

Defense

  • Patriots – I like the Pats at home against AZ.  Their defense is a top five unti for sure.  One of the usual problems with the Pats D doesn’t apply today.  They will likely not run up the score, because the Cardinals defense isn’t terrible themselves.  I’m looking for a 34-10 game with a couple AZ turnovers.

ValueTown

  • Spiller
  • Gibson

Pick of the Day

  • At the risk of being a week late, I’m taking AP as my pick of the week.

Week One Daily Fantasy Football Picks

Quarterbacks

  • Jay Cutler – He is a monster in week one performances.  Since 2007, he has thrown for 300 yards every opener except one.  He plays a week defense, Indianapolis, and he has a lot to prove if he is to actually make the leap to being a great quarterback.  Couple that with a healthy Forte and new addition Brandon Marshall and I like strong numbers from Cutler today.  Don’t forget, Marshall was a top target for Cutler when the two played in Denver.  Expect good things.  And Cutler is a great value most places.
  • Tom Brady – If you insist on spending money on your quarterback, go with Brady over the other big guys.  His matchup – at Tennessee – is better than Aaron Rogers facing the top tier SF defense or Brees facing the Skins.  But I’d stick with Cutler and the value.

Running Backs

  • Shonn Greene – I think he’s one of the underrated stories coming into this year.  He is set to see a ton of carries.  He was highly touted and a lot was expected.  Maybe it hasn’t been delivered on, and maybe it’s the system.  It all changes this year.  And this year starts today.  Buffalo was 28th against the run last year.  Greene has a good history against the division rival.  Like Cutler, Greene is a resident of valuetown.
  • LeSean McCoy – If you want to spend the money somewhere, spend it here.  Vick stays clean and healthy.  That means lots of carries for McCoy!

Wide Receivers

  • Calvin Johnson – Continue spending your daily fantasy football budget here with Megatron.  He’s essentially the most likely receiver to get you 100 yards.  He more than justifies the price.
  • Brandon Marshall –  Read my Cutler story above.

Tight End

  • Brent Celek – In looking for even more value at the tight end spot, I settled on Brent Celek.  Vick, playing for the money, should be back in a big way this year.  Celek has always been one of his favoriate targets.  Vick needs to stay healthy.  That means a lot of quick passes, right up the tight end’s alley.  The Browns were mediocre against TE’s last year.

Kicker

  • Mason Crosby – A hyperpowerful offense and an awesome defense will make for a number of field goal tries.  The packers will move the ball through the air pretty well but will have a tough time getting the ball in the end zone.  I like Crosby to start off the 2012 campaign with a bang.

Defense

  • The Texans or the Bears – I like all of the teams facing rookie quarterbacks. I like the Texans and the Colts more than the rest.  Miami doesn’t have a particularly balanced attack, nor do the Colts.  Moreover, often, the best defense is a good offense.  The Bears and Texans will each control the game well.

ValueTown

  • Cutler
  • Greene
  • Celek

Pick of the Day

  • Jay Cutler to Brandon Marshall

Performance, Not Value

It may sound obvious, but the point if often missed.  Daily fantasy football players get so obsessed with finding value from players, they forget performance.  Ultimately, especially if you are in a large daily or weekly fantasy football league, you need very high scoring.  Extremely high!  In order to be the ultimate winner of one of those contests, you will likely need most of the week’s high scorers.

Figure out who the week’s high scorers will be first, then figure out how to get enough value in order to get those guys in the lineup.

I once heard that the smartest people in the room are the ones who have the best grasp on the obvious.  Playing for points and not value is so often overlooked by even the best daily fantasy sports players.

This could never happen to me, you might say.  Here’s how it happens.  You have a few solid guys you like to have a big week.  You realize those guys are going to cost a significant piece of your budget.  You also know that you must get value from every position and every player on your daily fantasy football roster.  You start researching daily fantasy football value plays of the week.

You realize, when researching the value plays, some “cheap” guys are more likely than others to put up a few points.  Those guys have lower risk, lower reward.  You pick those cheap guys to go along with your expensive stars.

Don’t do that!

You need high risk, high reward.  Every week, a couple of guys you didn’t expect to be anywhere near the leaderboards are right up there.  You need to be the player with one of those guys.  This is probably more true in Daily Fantasy Baseball than it is in Daily Fantasy Football, but it is still true!  Pay attention.  Don’t lay off the risk.  High risk, high reward is how to win daily fantasy sports.

 

Two Distinct Blogs

I now have two separate and distinct blogs with the topic of weekly and daily fantasy sports.  This, of course, is one.  I shall confine my discussion to weekly fantasy football.  I had been making baseball picks on this site, too.  From now on, this site is dedicated to football only.  I am in the process of beefing up the site to include site reviews, promotions, information, strategy, rule differences, etc.

The baseball site is DailyFantasyBaseball.org.  The plan is to, starting after my honeymoon, make daily fantasy baseball picks twice per week.  I literally spend two hours creating the picks.  It’s pretty intense.  I study matchups, weather, how the player has been performing, starting lineups, you name it.  On that site, I will review daily fantasy sites from a baseball perspective.  On this site, I will do it from a football perspective.

Picks – May 15

I did pretty well yesterday.  My pitching carried me through.  I’m going to figure out a different format for my picks soon.  And I’m going to post them on my Daily Fantasy Baseball site, but I wanted to get something up as games start on this rain filled Monday night.

You will get great value from Lind, Schumaker, Plouffe, and Delmon Young tonight.  Therefore, you can go spend money on Joe Mauer, Austin Jackson, Carlos Beltran, and pitching.  Pitchers are Sanchez and/or Clayton Kershaw.

Experimenting with Making Picks for Daily

Pitchers

Verlander

He’s the stopper.  A candidate to strikeout ten every time.  The A’s were hot, but last night they showed some signs of slowing against the mighty Doug Fister.  Look for a big one out of Verlander.

Zito

Yep, that Zito.  Barry Zito.  He has  2.21 ERA this year, in case you weren’t paying attention.  He’s cheap, at least in Fanduel.   He’s also going against Joe Saunders who, after a strong start, is likely to get blown up again.

Hamels

Look for him to build on last week’s strong outing against the light hitting Padres

Shining Stars

Cano has been hot.  Even yesterday, when the meat of the Yankees order was light, Cano had an RBI single in his final at-bat.  He has historically crushed Kevin Millwood.  It continues today.

Elvis Andrus loves facing Jared Weaver.   A .413 lifetime average in nearly 50 ab’s.  Shortstop is a weak position.  Not many better options today than Andrus.

Here’s the Value

Ibanez.  He stays hot.  He loves facing Millwood

Konerko.  Loves daytime hitting.

Nick Johnson.  Homered Friday.  Hitting in the middle of the order

Lucroy doing the catching.  Hitting 2nd in front of Braun he puts up some points.

Ben Francisco hitting in the middle of the order

Final Thoughts

Orioles sweep Shields and the Rays.

Looking for the Yankees to terrorize the Mariners in a very high scoring affair.  Hamels to shut down Padres.

The Best Daily Fantasy Sites Don’t Sell Research

A daily fantasy game has a lot going on.  First, you need to choose your game.  You need to study the scoring method.  You need to view opponents and their previous histories.  You need to choose a lineup under the salary cap.  You need to know which games in the real sport count in the daily fantasy game.  There is a lot to juggle.

There also needs to be some sense of the community on the site.  This can be as simple as a link to a relatively active forum, but can also be as intricate as interactive chat.  Support should also always be close at hand.

The last thing you need is player news getting in the way.  Daily fantasy sites need to understand their players are going to go to many other websites to study up on players, weather, games and match-ups.

There are an infinite amount of player news sources.  There doesn’t need to be another one getting in the way of the daily fantasy game.

Weekly Fantasy Football – Why So Long?

I’ve asked myself, why did it take so long to gel for me.  I first started exploring the daily / weekly fantasy sports world years ago.  In 2007 I took a very hard look.  I was an early player in Rotohog daily fantasy baseball.  I came in 18th I think.  I was on the site literally every day.  Winner got $100K.  I got a signed Ozzie Smith baseball.  Woohoo.

From what I can tell, rotohog didn’t make it or got snapped up and is now part of something larger.  I had some email conversations with their CEO.  Nice guy.  Great concept and a great site.  First movers sometimes have it rough.  Friendster comes to mind.

But I digress.  Daily fantasy sports is completely compelling for a die-hard fantasy sports person like me.  I knew intellectually that it would make it as a concept.  There is a nice UIGEA carve out that allows fantasy sports without much more specificity.  It was bound to succeed.  But there was always, up until very recently, something missing.  That something was community.

Daily / weekly fantasy sports needs a mass of people.  It needs scale.  It needs players for various dollar levels, various skill levels, and instant games.  The more people there are, the more you get the game you want, when you want it.  That’s what exists now in 2012 that didn’t exist before.  It’s visceral.  You feel it.  That’s what I felt recently.  That’s why I’m doing this site.  Weekly fantasy football, here we come!