As I begin my third week of Daily Fantasy Sports, I’m beginning to broaden my horizons.
I’ve never been a huge hockey fan, nor have I followed it closely. I know what teams are winning, top players, etc, but I’ve never had allegiance to a team. Basically I’ve never been more than a casual fan at best. Last night I was bored, so I began to scour Twitter for some plays for the night. I stumbled upon some and decided to blindly follow. I ended up finishing 4th out of 90 in a tournament. I couldn’t tell you the names of half of the guys I played, but at this point, does it matter? I’m getting a little off topic here, but the point was to draw your attention to what I’ve come to realize over the past few weeks. It is insanely easy to make money playing daily fantasy sports. I spent about two minutes of my time last night looking for hockey plays on Twitter, entered my lineup, didn’t watch a single game, and got paid. There is a wealth of information available on sites like DFR and Twitter, and you can use them to your advantage. You really don’t have to DO anything to win at daily fantasy sports. You can even use a DFR Insider draft kit to help you build a lineup with minimal knowledge about the sport in question. With that being said, time to pay homage to my bottom bitch: the NFL.
As far as daily fantasy sports field generals go, there is Peyton Manning and then there is everyone else. He only has 36 more passing yards than Drew Brees, but SIX more touchdowns. Brees is having a tremendous season in his own right, but if I can get my hands on Peyton Manning this weekend (not literally of course), then I’m going to sit back and watch him destroy a secondary that has allowed Philip Rivers and Eli Manning to each eclipse the 400 yard mark. Just to put things into perspective, including a 362 yard performance vs. Denver (mostly garbage time yardage), Eli Manning has 698 yards, 2 TD passes and SIX interceptions since that game. As bad as Eli and the Giants have been, it is borderline terrifying to think of what Big Brother might to do this Cowboys defense. Needless to say, he is the top play of the week at any position in my book.
Here are some other daily fantasy sports Quarterbacks I’ll be targeting and some mind-blowing reasons to back them up:
Matthew Stafford: Take this with a grain of salt, but Stafford has been lights out in October during his career. He has posted a 20-7 TD/INT ratio while posting a 6-4 record. For a Quarterback playing in Detroit, that is impressive. And while Stafford is 0-5 against Green Bay in his career, with their depleted secondary, now is his chance. But then again, we don’t need him to WIN, we just need his daily fantasy sports numbers. He also had a rushing score in his last matchup with the Cheese. I’m looking for him to have a big game against the team that is allowing the 5th most daily fantasy sports points to opposing QBs this season.
Tom Brady: Let me preface this by saying that I’m a huge Bengals fan, but I’m also a fan of success and reality in daily fantasy sports. Tom Brady absolutely OWNS the AFC North. He is 15-4 career against the division with 35 TD passes and only 9 picks. Give me all you want about potentially missing Amendola and Gronk, but we all saw what he did to Atlanta last week in the second half. While there is a chance that one or both of them might play, I know as well as anyone that Tom Terrific will get his this week. Now is the time to play him at a lower price tag.
Moving on to the backfield to try and make sense of the mess that running backs have made this year. Let’s see if we can make some sense of a position that has been an overall disappointment thus far for most daily fantasy sports players.
Maurice Jones Drew: I know, he has struggled so far this season with barely over two yards per carry, but he has yet to be completely healthy. Not to mention that this Rams defense is atrocious. DeMarco Murray hadn’t had a 100 yard rushing game since Week 1 of last year before he tore them apart for 175 on the ground. The 49ers totaled over 200 daily fantasy sports rushing yards against them last week. There is nothing to like about this defense. I know that a lot of fantasy players are jumping at the chance to implore the “Whoever plays the Jags” defensive strategy, but I would avoid them in daily fantasy sports at all costs. They are still a bargain price, but I think this could be a big week for the Jacksonville offense. I feel dirty even writing that, but after losing my hair, my mind was logically the next to go. We’ll see how sane I’m feeling Sunday night, but that is my bold prediction for daily fantasy sports this week.
LeSean McCoy: I’m not sure where the nickname “Shady” came from, but there is nothing shady about this pick. He is the leading rusher in daily fantasy sports, averaging six yards per carry. Now he is facing a defense that has been humiliated by offensive juggernauts Carolina and Kansas City. He will be an expensive play, but I can’t see how you don’t find a way to plug him into at least a few daily fantasy sports lineups.
Danny Woodhead: One of the smallest guys in the NFL is having a huge daily fantasy sports impact. He has helped make Philip Rivers look like a good QB (I’m still not convinced), and is always a red zone threat. He won’t see a ton of carries, but he is a good play in PPR formats until he proves otherwise. If there was an “Undersized Running Backs Who Can Dominate a Game” fan club, I’d be the President. Between Woodhead and Darren Sproles, I don’t know who I love more from a daily fantasy sports perspective.
Now we move on to the daily fantasy sports Money-Makers: Wide Receivers.
I’m going to spare you the repetitive nature of stating that you should play top-flight guys such as Julio Jones, Calvin Johnson, Demariyus Thomas, Dez Bryant and Brandon Marshall. If you can afford them, you play them. Period. I’m going to find you the guys that you can find for much cheaper who will give you a great shot to put up big numbers as well.
Nate Washington: He has quietly posted back-to-back 100 yard games, and scored twice last week. The Chiefs defense is damn good, but let’s take a closer look at the QBs they have faced: Blaine Gabbert, Tony Romo, Michael Vick, and Eli Manning. That looks more like a list of mistake-prone QBs than anything. They haven’t had to force mistakes; they have been handed them on a silver platter. I’m not saying Ryan Fitzpatrick is a great QB, but the guy doesn’t make stupid mistakes. You won’t see him beating himself. I’m not calling for a huge game for Fitz, but he will take care of the ball. Washington will have plenty of opportunities.
Marlon Brown: Brown has scored in 3 of his 4 games this year, and has more TDs than Brandon Marshall, Desean Jackson, and Julio Jones. After Torrey Smith’s breakout game last week (you’re welcome), he should be getting more attention from Miami’s defense. We all saw what Brees did to this team on Monday Night Football, and while I don’t consider Flacco deserving of being in the same daily fantasy sports sentence as Brees, he will find ample opportunities to get Brown involved.
Justin Blackmon: See above. The return of the prodigal son will be more impactful than many people think for daily fantasy sports. His stock is lowered a little with Gabbert under center, but would any of us be shocked to see Henne on the field at some point this week? Of course not. Gabbert may likely break a finger trying to strap on his helmet. The guy is like a daily fantasy sports Mr. Glass, except not NEARLY as awesome.
I want to label this next section Tight End, rather than Tight Ends, because Jimmy Graham is head and shoulders above the rest in daily fantasy sports. In some cases, that can be taken literally. The guy is a monster. If you can afford it, he’s your guy. If you can’t afford it, find a way. It’s hard to find a way to recommend any roster that doesn’t have at least Peyton Manning or Jimmy Graham. If you can’t swing both, you need to get one. Tight End has been my weakness, as I alluded to in my recap from last week, and I’m certainly not going to be able to pony up for Graham in EVERY lineup. Here are the guys I’ll take a chance on in my Graham-less daily fantasy sports lineups.
Martellus Bennett: He has had one daily fantasy sports dud this year, Week 2 vs. Pittsburgh in a game that Chicago dominated, so we will excuse him from that one. I don’t anticipate the Bears crushing the Saints the way they did the Steelers, so Bennett should get plenty of chances in this one. Charles Clay pulled down a score against this defense last week, and Bennett remains one of Cutler’s favorite red zone targets, scoring three times in the first two weeks of the season.
Charles Clay: He has been consistent in each game this season, with at least 4 catches and 40 yards in every contest. He may not be a threat for a huge game, but with a small price tag, you should be able to count on him for a solid 8-10 point day and possibly a score.
Kickers: Again, I’m not spending time predicting kickers and their daily fantasy sports outlooks, because nobody can. I’m taking the guy who is the cheapest with the best percentage on the season. Don’t care what his name is, don’t care about the matchup, I just want a cheap kicker to make me a couple of 40 yarders and save me some salary in the process.
Defense and Special Teams: I don’t have any defenses I love this week, but I am looking for some good value plays. I’d much rather spend my salary on position players with higher upside. Needless to say, I won’t be spending a ton of money on the Seahawks or Chiefs.
49ers: Rarely will you find a defense with this much talent and potential for so cheap, especially coming off a solid performance last week. They have also had three extra days to rest up for their matchup with Houston. There is only one thing you need to know here. A restaurant in Houston started selling a Pick-Six burger in honor of Matt Schaub. He has already thrown THREE this year. Cue the band. The Niners will take advantage of Schaub. Could be a huge daily fantasy sports game for the Niners D.
Saints: Who would have guessed that this defense would be Top 5 through 4 weeks, allowing less than 14 points per game? That answer is simple. Rob Ryan. The Cowboys cut him loose, blaming HIM for their inadequacies on defense. How you like me now, Dallas? He has completely transformed this defense. Throw Jay Cutler’s history of stupid decisions into the mix, and you have a recipe for a big daily fantasy sports game for New Orleans.
I’ll be focusing on these plays, as well as branching out to a new daily fantasy sports site this week to try and find some cheap salaries I can exploit. I’ll be back in a few days to give you the great news. Good luck.