Just as I anticipated, I preceded the biggest weekend of my daily fantasy football life with a total dud.
To be fair, no part of me actually anticipated this result. I’d much rather it came this week than next week though. I had multiple daily fantasy football lineups that scored 150+ and didn’t make me a single dollar. It was a tough time out there this week, or maybe I just picked my spots unwisely. Either way, not having Jamaal Charles in a single lineup on any site really cost me.
Aside, from that, I was the benefactor of some astonishingly bad coaching decisions, beginning with the puzzling use (or lack thereof) of LeSean McCoy in a terrific matchup with Minnesota. I just can’t fathom how Chip Kelly would be the guy who can’t seem to properly utilize the leading rusher in the NFL. In Philly wins, McCoy has had 32, 26, 27, 16 (Foles’ 7 TD game vs Oakland), 26, 24, 24, and 30 touches. In losses, he has 16, 20, 17, 24, 19, and 13 touches. Noticing a trend here? These are the type of numbers I would expect an NFL head coach to have memorized. It is beyond baffling at this point that nobody has done anything about the most criminally underused player in daily fantasy football. Needless to say, and regardless of recent success, I’m not a fan of Kelly as an NFL coach. He has the perfect complement of players at his disposal, yet seems to be incapable of utilizing them properly. It is borderline painful to watch. By the way, McCoy averaged over 8 yards each time he touched the ball last week, and touched the ball TWO times in the fourth quarter. You want a recipe for success, Kelly? Open your eyes. It’s that simple. FYI, McCoy is still the leading rusher in the NFL by 122 yards. More on McCoy later.
In case you didn’t know, Andre Johnson is the most targeted player in daily fantasy football this season. He also had 4 catches for 18 yards last week. The confusing thing about his game on Sunday, aside from a few dropped passes, was the fact that Matt Schaub never saw the field. The Texans were down 22 points in the 3rd quarter following Case Keenum taking a sack in the end zone, yet no changes were made for us unfortunate Johnson owners. We all know Matt Schaub can get the ball to Johnson. Granted, he will get the ball to opposing DBs nearly as often. But to be fair, Keenum completed 2 passes to Darius Butler, not to mention 3 more that hit him in the hands, and those catches went for 38 yards. Doesn’t sound that bad, right? It’s not Keenum’s fault the guy can’t catch the ball consistently. Oh wait, it IS Keenum’s fault. Darius Butler plays cornerback. For the Colts. He had more than twice as much yardage as Andre Johnson, and saw just as many opportunities to catch as pass as the future Hall-of-Famer. It was seemingly never-ending carousel of daily fantasy football mediocrity outside of Jamaal Charles. And even Charles struggled mightily on the ground, amassing an incredible 20 yards on 8 carries. Looking at that statistic, you’d think that Charles was a daily fantasy football bust this week. But we all know better.
The Fantasy Millionaire Grand Final at DraftKings
This is the big daily fantasy football week. Nearly 28 years of life on this Earth have led to this. The task is daunting, but exciting and intriguing all at the same time. I feel confident, but tentative and worried at the same time. Then I realize that I literally have nothing to lose but a wasted opportunity. If I finish dead last in the tournament this weekend, I’ll be out $0. If I finish 301st, I’ll be out $0, and just a little more pissed off. I have two ways to approach this tournament. I can go with solid, consistent players, and hope that I can make the top 300 if one of them has a big game, but make certain that I won’t have any players throwing up a complete dud. Or…I can take a few chances, insert a few guys who are cheap, but have the potential to make me a millionaire (minus taxes), and surround them with top-notch daily fantasy football talent that I can rely on to produce. I’ve spent countless hours over the past few weeks trying to decide which strategy is best for me, and after all this time, I’ve made my decision. Both. I choose both. I’m not willing to all but surrender my chance at the seven-figure First Prize, and the recognition that goes along with it, simply to play it safe. But I am also not willing to take too many risks, and cost myself a chance at a potential top 300 finish, and at least $3K. With all of that being said, here are the guys I am considering. The projections are my personal projections, not some from some random site. If you steal the whole roster, congrats. We’ll split the Million. I can live with that.
QB- Ryan Fitzpatrick @ JAX. Jacksonville has allowed at least two TD passes to opposing QBs in five of their last six games. Fitzy just torched a very good Arizona defense to the tune of 402 yards and 4 scores. Jacksonville is a terrific matchup, and Fitzpatrick is cheap. Big upside, and should be a guy who is owned by a low percentage of players. I’m going to save some money here and still score solid points. I should easily get value out of Fitzy. Many players will likely go with Peyton or Foles or another top notch guy, but I’ll save my money for the skill players. Salary: $5,500. Projected points: 15-26
RB- LeSean McCoy vs CHI. I’ve touched on this a few times. The Bears defense is bad. Embarrassingly bad for those players who have been around the organization for some time. Granted, it looks like Lance Briggs will be back, but I’m certain that Chip Kelly listened to all of the voicemails I left him about Shady, and he should be seeing at least 30 touches. I’m expecting and borderline demanding a huge game from Shady. Salary: $8,500. Projected points: 18-30
RB- LeVeon Bell @ GB. Mike Tomlin absolutely loves this guy. While I don’t necessarily believe anything that Tomlin says, I can’t argue with this one. This kid has over 1,000 yards of total offense on the season in 11 games, and is the focal point of the offense. He will see plenty of touches, and is as reliable as they come. Salary: $6,000. Projected points: 12-20
WR- Dez Bryant @ WSH. Dez has been the best weapon in this offense since the day he came into the league. There may be many unkind things people can say about him, but none of them have anything to do with his play on the field. This kid MUST show up if the Cowboys are going to get out of Washington with a win. The playoff hopes, and the future of the franchise may depend on the outcome this week. I’m getting an elite talent at an incredible price this week, and being given a dream matchup. Salary: $7,600. Projected points: 15-25
WR- Julian Edelman @ BAL. Edelman has become the biggest threat in an offense that desperately needs someone to step up and make plays. Danny Amendola has been capable, but it has become abundantly clear that Tom Brady trusts Edelman more than he trusts Gisele. But be warned, if Edelman has a bad game, Gisele will surely put him on blast. Salary: $7,100. Projected points: 12-22
TE- Tony Gonzalez @ SF. The 49ers are actually one of the better teams against opposing TEs, and that is a main reason why I’m targeting Gonzalez this week. He has scored in three straight games, and I see no reason why he can’t do the same this week, as Tim Wright and Luke Willson have found paydirt against SF in the past two weeks. He is a safe play, and reasonably priced. I’m hoping he is underowned. Salary: $5,400. Projected points: 10-16
FLEX- Dennis Johnson vs DEN. Johnson will likely be a well-owned guy in this tournament, given his minimum salary and recent bump up to starter as a result of Ben Tate breaking the last healthy rib he had left in his entire body. It is actually a really good matchup, and Johnson runs hard. I’m not expecting a home run here, but I think Johnson is too good of a value to pass up. Salary: $3,000. Projected points: 8-15
K- Whoever is cheap, and not dealing with tons of wind. Salary: $3,000. Projected points: No fucking clue.
D/ST- Dolphins @ BUF. A cheap option that is a great play in a big tournament this week if you ask me. I already liked them before EJ Manuel was officially ruled out, and now I love them. Salary: $3,400. Projected points: 8-14.
There are a few more guys I’m considering for my daily fantasy football lineup, including Greg Jennings, Giovani Bernard, Keenan Allen, Kirk Cousins, and AJ Green. I’m sure I’ll be changing my lineup another dozen or so times before Sunday, but that’s where I stand at this point. I can’t wait for Sunday, and while I’d love to take home the Million, I’ll be more than content finishing anywhere in the money. Good luck this week, and if your lineup is identical to mine, I expect a 10% commission. I’m sure you understand.