I finally broke through in a daily fantasy football tournament, cashing in on Nick Folk’s 43-yard field goal as time expired on Monday Night Football.
I’m not proud of the fact that a daily fantasy football kicker was my saving grace in the daily fantasy football tournament I cashed in, but when I consider that Mason Crosby scored twenty points, more than stud wide receivers such as Julio Jones, Victor Cruz, and Demariyus Thomas, I go back to how stupid the kicker slot is in daily fantasy sports. Props to FanThrowdown fantasy football, who had contests this week with no kicker slot. When I mentioned branching out to an additional site this week for a daily fantasy football tournament, I wasn’t sure what site I was going to explore. I eventually chose to play at FanDuel fantasy football, and I’m glad I did. I’m a huge fan of the salaries on FanDuel fantasy football, and maybe it is all in my head but I felt that I got more out of my lineups there than I did playing DraftKings fantasy football. More on these gripes later.
My quarterbacks in general were a letdown (aside from Peyton Manning of course). I did manage to pull Stafford out of my daily fantasy football tournament lineups when the news broke about Calvin Johnson being out for the game. That last second maneuver likely saved me in my in each daily fantasy football tournament rosters I had him in. The other recommendation I made completely blew up in my face, as Tom Brady was absolutely dominated by the striped greatness that is the Cincinnati Bengals defense. His streak of 52 consecutive games with a touchdown pass, which ironically began against the Bengals, ended Sunday. It looked like he once again found a way late in the fourth quarter, but usually sure-handed Danny Amendola dropped a pass that hit him in both hands. You win some, you lose some. I bet Brady has nightmares at night thinking about how Wes Welker has as many scores this year as all of New England’s wide receivers and tight ends COMBINED. That’s not even mentioning Danny Woodhead, who has punched it in three times for San Diego already. Enough about Brady, let’s focus on Peyton Manning. How can you justify not rostering this guy on at least a majority of your daily fantasy football tournament lineups? He once again threw for four scores, and even had a rushing touchdown against Dallas. Oh yeah, he also had over 400 yards passing. Until he proves otherwise, I’ll be paying for Peyton as my gunslinger on most daily fantasy football tournament rosters.
Running backs were a difficult pick, as Pierre Thomas, despite only 36 rushing yards, was the high scorer for the week (excluding Thursday night where Fred Jackson scored 21). This was mainly due to his two TD grabs off Drew Brees checkdown passes. I played Maurice Jones-Drew in many of my daily fantasy football tournament lineups because he was an inexpensive option facing a terrible defense. He ended up with 86 all-purpose yards, but once again failed to find the end zone. LeSean McCoy had the best matchup of the week on paper, but outside of points per reception leagues he wasn’t worth anything near the salary many of us paid. Danny Woodhead was a sneaky play, and I found a little value in him despite only 13 rushing yards on the day. Let’s be honest though, I didn’t draft the guy for rushing yards. I drafted him to catch the ball in the Red Zone, and he came through in my daily fantasy football tournament lineups.
Wide receivers made me want to rip my hair out this week on each daily fantasy football tournament roster. Fortunately, I don’t have much left so I dodged a bullet there. All of the big dogs aside from Dez Bryant were tremendous disappointments. The daily fantasy football tournament roster that I cashed with on FanDuel had Victor Cruz and Demaryius Thomas at wideout. Both cost me an arm and a leg. If either of those guys had even a decent game I could have been in the running for the $3,000 top prize. Dez Bryant was my third wide receiver, and was certainly a main reason that I cashed in spite of the off games by Cruz and Demariyus. I can say that I was the proud owner and huge backer of Justin Blackmon last weekend, and aside from having a tremendous name he put up huge numbers in his first game back.
The tight end recap is one that I’ll recap with great shame once again. I wrote about how every daily fantasy sports player needed to roster either Peyton Manning or Jimmy Graham on every single roster, if not both. I’m disappointed in myself this week, because I only used Graham on one roster and that just so happened to be my Tom Brady team. HOWEVER, I did tune in to the RotoGrinders live show about an hour before kickoff, and courtesy of CrazyGabey I plugged Julius Thomas into about 75% of my rosters. For that, I thank him. You can find his plays each week in the DFR Insider draft kits. He does an excellent job of identifying which players will go off each week, and you won’t be disappointed. Charles Clay did manage a score for Miami, and that helped me out too. Martellus Bennett was who I thought he was, although it should be noted that out of tight ends who were targeted at least five times, only Bennett and Jermichael Finley caught every pass thrown their direction.
The kicker segment will go like this. I’ll tell you that I spent the minimum on each of the eight different kickers I reluctantly had to draft, and each of them scored at least nine points. There were some high-scoring kickers this week, but I don’t care now, and I won’t care next week. Kickers are about as relevant and predictable in a daily fantasy football tournament as punters. If you want to add punters and long snappers too, and reward points for punts inside the 20 and beautiful special teams play, I would care about the same amount. GET RID OF THE DAMN KICKERS!
My top defensive play of the week was a gold mine. The 49ers were a cheap play on some sites, and they carried me on a lot of my rosters considering we were all but guaranteed a Matt Schaub pick-six. It took a grand total of ONE play to cash in on Ol’ Reliable Matt Schaub. Strategy for next week: play whoever is playing the Texans, sit back, and enjoy. Rinse and repeat. Cash it.
As soon as I began relying on wide receivers to get me off of the proverbial bubble in daily fantasy football my main men let me down. With news this morning that Julio Jones may be out for the season, the landscape changes even more. I was fortunate enough to have played Alshon Jeffery in a few leagues, and loved watching my teams roll over opponents who had Brandon Marshall. Supposed value plays at running back this week killed my momentum multiple times. Ryan Mathews suffered a concussion early, and David Wilson went down (as usual), but at least he scored a touchdown before bowing out. Overall, I managed my first legitimately successful and profitable week in daily fantasy football. I was mere inches away from cashing even more. I finished within three spots of the money in 11 more tournaments or double ups, which in itself may be frustrating to many, but not to me. I look at these matchups as easy money for next week, knowing that I was only a few points, maybe even one player away from making some serious cash.
I now have a list of players who I will never draft, as well as players who I feel are essential to success. This is a big part of how I will make my lineups moving forward. Players on my “Employ or Destroy” list include: “Destroy” candidates Darren McFadden, Ryan Mathews, David Wilson, and Matt Schaub. “Employ” candidates include many obvious plays, but here are a few I’ll manage to roster moving forward in most leagues: Alshon Jeffery, Tony Gonzalez, and any QB playing against the Cowboys. It is a small list for now, but as I move on, this list will certainly grow. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my naughty or nice list. Rest assured, Victor Cruz and Tom Brady are going to be getting big ass lumps of coal from me for Christmas until further notice.
I took a huge step this week towards my plan for world domination, or daily fantasy sports domination, whichever it may be. In my opinion, they go hand-in-hand. Once I conquer the realm of daily fantasy sports I’ve essentially conquered the world. It’s not as easy as it seems, but with a few weeks under my belt I am as equipped now as I’ll ever be to take down first place in a major daily fantasy football tournament this upcoming weekend.