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Thursday 24th Aug 2017

Many thanks to Seth Trachtman for the 2017 Street & Smith’s Magazine mock draft held on Thursday night. The league set-up is no PPR, which is a unique format for me as all of the leagues I am in for real have some form of PPR.

The early first round went just as expected (for a PPR league), so I was very happy sitting at number nine to grab running back Devonta Freeman. After taking DeMarco Murray on the turn in the second round, Tom Brady in the third round was a no-brainer with six points awarded for a touchdown pass and Aaron Rodgers already gone.

Since touchdowns dominate non-PPR scoring, I am not concerned to come out of the draft with Terrelle Pryor, Golden Tate, Jamison Crowder, Eric Decker, Kenny Stills and Zay Jones as my receiving group.

One player that I will be targeting in all drafts regardless of format is former South Florida Bull Marlon Mack. Frankly, I was going to target whatever running back the Colts selected, after continuing to ride Frank Gore into old age. I expect Mack to get a real chance for carries, and even though Gore has been a model of durability over his career, he is old enough to almost qualify for AARP.

There is good and bad with Week 17 upon us. Among the bad, it is the last regular season week of the NFL season and many teams with playoff spots locked up will rest or limit their players. The good – we have a full Sunday 16-game slate for the only time this entire season. We also have a silly 56-point Vegas total in the Saints-Falcons game.

Aaron Rodgers has been silly since Week 7 with two or more touchdown passes in every game except for the ice bowl, and three or more TDs in six of those games. As much as I believe that Brees-Ryan could go back and forth, both of those teams have enough of a running game to put me all-in on Rodgers.

QB Aaron Rodgers GB 7700 Best QB right now with the most to play for
QB Drew Brees NO 7600 Scary high 56-point total
QB Matt Ryan Atl 7400 See Brees above
QB Kirk Cousins Was 6500 One game for a playoff berth and a big payday
QB Matthew Stafford Det 6000 Should be playing comeback most of the game
QB Blake Bortles Jax 5600 Trying to prove he is relevant for 2017

There is a ton of potential value in the running back slot with some of the big boys sitting it out or injured. Follow the news as we get closer to roster lock time to see if any other low-price backs will have an extended opportunity.

RB David Johnson Ari 9800 Expected to get a near full load
RB Devonta Freeman Atl 7000 Only one dud in the past five games
RB Jordan Howard Chi 6800 Earning number one status for next season
RB Jay Ajayi Mia 5900 This is not Buffalo, but he's the Dolphins' best weapon
RB Mark Ingram NO 5600 Playing for top spot next season
RB Alex Collins Sea 4600 Last man standing against worst run D - not cheap
RB Kenneth Dixon Bal 4200 Another back trying to earn 2017 starting job
RB Darren Sproles Phi 4000 Someone will be in the backfield for Eagles
RB Rex Burkhead Cin 3500 Catches enough passes at cheap price to be in play
RB Shaun Draughn SF 3200 Same play as Burkhead

I know it feels a week late, but Jordy Nelson has to go with Aaron Rodgers. There are enough cheap running backs to avoid skimping at the receiver position.

WR Jordy Nelson GB 8100 Playing at another level
WR Mike Evans TB 8000 Last Bucs playmaker still standing
WR Doug Baldwin Sea 7200 Even more significant with Lockett done
WR Brandin Cooks NO 6900 Not at home, but still in a dome
WR Michael Thomas NO 6700 Expected to put exclamation on star rookie season
WR Golden Tate Det 6600 Needs to make plays for Lions to compete
WR Sammy Watkins Buf 5800 Late season tease
WR Davante Adams GB 5700 Caught the TD he dropped the week before
WR DeSean Jackson Was 5600 Playing for another free agent contract
WR Tyreek Hill KC 5600 Dynamic playmaker
WR Allen Robinson Jax 5500 Still cheaply priced
WR Cameron Meredith Chi 5200 Earning time with Howard for 2017
WR Steve Smith Sr. Bal 4900 Announced retirement - narrative for TD targets
WR DeVante Parker Mia 4300 Big play ability even with Moore

Here we are at the black hole known as tight end. Throw a dart, roster a tight end.

TE Travis Kelce KC 5000 Over 100 yards in five of past six
TE Zach Ertz Phi 4800 Only two targets last week after 36 in previous three
TE Eric Ebron Det 3600 At least four catches in four straight
TE Jared Cook GB 3100 Seeing more targets with Cobb out

Tough to gauge which defenses will show up. Certainly the Steelers are in an ideal spot against Cleveland, but how long will their defensive starters play? 

DST Broncos Den 3900 Were embarrassed by KC last week
DST Seahawks Sea 3700 Should dominate SF
DST Steelers Pit 3600 Nothing to play for, but this is Cleveland
DST Texans Hou 3500 Matt Cassel is not good
DST Bills Buf 3400 Jets are a mess
DST Cardinals Ari 3000 Rams getting ready for 2017

Here is my planned GPP lineup led by the three Packers with Cook still a possibility at tight end. 

QB Aaron Rodgers GB 7700
RB Devonta Freeman Atl 7000
RB Shaun Draughn SF 3200
WR Jordy Nelson GB 8100
WR Michael Thomas NO 6700
WR Davante Adams GB 5700
TE Eric Ebron Det 3600
RB Darren Sproles Phi 4000
DST Bills Buf 3400

We enter Week 14 with the Bucs in first place. I must say that I did not see that one coming. But their defense has held strong recently and their passing offense has been really good. Now the Saints come down to Tampa (in fact, the Bucs play the Saints two of the next three weeks) in what is the highest Vegas point total on the board.

Drew Brees and Jameis Winston highlight the QB list to no surprise. I am torn on Marcus Mariota. He has been playing so well and nobody will be on him this week. Eli Manning is due for one of those big games, but I just don’t know if he has it in him.

QB Drew Brees NO 7400 Tampa will not keep the ball away like the Lions did
QB Jameis Winston TB 6700 Anyone vs. the Saints
QB Philip Rivers SD 6600 In a good spot
QB Russell Wilson Sea 6600 Packers pass defense not up to NFL standards
QB Kirk Cousins Was 6300 Looking to keep Redskins in race and guarantee money
QB Marcus Mariota Ten 6200 Bad spot but playing so well
QB Eli Manning NYG 5500 Makes me very nervous but in a good situation for points

With a couple of cheap wide receivers, you can still fit David Johnson or Le'Veon Bell in your lineup. However, dropping down to LeSean McCoy to save the money does allow a ton of flexibility. As long as there are no vultured touchdowns.

RB David Johnson Ari 9800 Not priced high enough yet
RB Le'Veon Bell Pit 9000 Not a good spot - but matchup proof catching passes
RB LeSean McCoy Buf 8200 Touchdown vulture hurting total - $1600 discount from Johnson
RB DeMarco Murray Ten 7000 Rest helps toe recover
RB Matt Forte NYJ 6800 As long as Jets don’t fall behind - in for big game
RB Jeremy Hill Cin 5800 Torched Browns on limited carries in first meeting
RB Thomas Rawls Sea 5700 Showed he is all the way back
RB Carlos Hyde SF 4900 Only legitimate 49er weapon
RB Darren Sproles Phi 4400 As long as Mathews is still out

Mike Evans will be in my lineup this week at all costs. I will be surprised if Evans is not the highest scoring receiver in the league this week. Taylor Gabriel is also a recent favorite of Matt Ryan and should see more targets with Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu banged up.

WR Mike Evans TB 8900 How does he not have ten catches this week?
WR Michael Thomas NO 6700 Brees' top target
WR Golden Tate Det 6600 Fits right in with recent Lions short pass style
WR Emmanuel Sanders Den 5700 Can beat Titans downfield
WR Jamison Crowder Was 5600 Still not being taken as a legitimate threat
WR Allen Robinson Jax 5000 Price pick only
WR Randall Cobb GB 5000 With Sherman likely on Nelson - maybe this is the week?
WR Tyler Boyd Cin 4900 Filling the Green targets
WR Dontrelle Inman SD 4800 Scoring with good target numbers
WR Taylor Gabriel Atl 4300 Becoming a popular Ryan target
WR J.J. Nelson Ari 3600 Someone besides Fitz has to step up

Jimmy Graham and Cameron Brate fit into my two favorite QB-WR-TE stacks this week. There is no “safe” place to go for tight end numbers.

TE Jimmy Graham Sea 5500 Seahawks stack should be popular this week
TE Zach Ertz Phi 4900 Double digit targets in two of the past three
TE Delanie Walker Ten 4400 See Mariota above
TE Cameron Brate TB 4100 In the Bucs stack
TE Ladarius Green Pit 3900 Price going up but producing with Pitt short receivers
TE Vance McDonald SF 3000 Good goal line target

I certainly can’t argue with going for any of the top three defenses but I am having trouble fitting one of them in my lineup, so I am looking further down the list at Miami and San Diego.

DST Vikings Min 3900 Anyone vs. Jax is high on the list - but you pay a price
DST Lions Det 3600 Lions playing keep-away helping their defense
DST Bengals Cin 3500 Cleveland and RGIII
DST Dolphins Mia 2600 Should be better at home vs. QB who can't move
DST Chargers SD 2600 Carolina has pretty much mailed it in

We will see if the Bucs stack can outscore the Seahawks stack. 

QB Jameis Winston TB 6700
RB Jeremy Hill Cin 5800
RB LeSean McCoy Buf 8200
WR Mike Evans TB 8900
WR Taylor Gabriel Atl 4300
WR Dontrelle Inman SD 4800
TE Cameron Brate TB 4100
DST Chargers SD 2600
RB Darren Sproles Phi 4400

Christmas and Hanukkah week is upon us and the NFL has a full weekend slate to keep NFL fans healthy. The Week 16 schedule begins with the Giants-Eagles game on Thursday, followed by a full 1:00, 4:00 and night game on Saturday, two more on Sunday and finally Lions-Cowboys on Monday. I know many of you will be sweating out season-long league championship games over that five-day stretch. But for the main slate DraftKings DFS players, we have 12 games on Christmas Eve day.

Six of the seven QB’s on the list are in the three Vegas over 52 total games. Not going much out on a limb here. All are in very good spots to post numbers. Game flow will determine which QB’s outperform the others.

QB Drew Brees NO 7400 The game vs. TB two weeks ago was a fluke
QB Matt Ryan Atl 7200 Should be another up and down the field game
QB Andrew Luck Ind 7000 Playing for their playoff lives
QB Kirk Cousins Was 6800 The only QB on this list not in an over 52 game
QB Derek Carr Oak 6800 Uncomfortable with finger injury but getting by
QB Cam Newton Car 6600 Cam not running but Atl defense has holes
QB Jameis Winston TB 6500 Could have beaten Dal with better fourth quarter

With LeVeon Bell off the main slate and David Johnson in a tough match-up, we have the chance to slide down a little at RB and save some money for WRs. LeSean McCoy was under $7k six of the first seven weeks of the season and has now hit $9k.

RB David Johnson Ari 9200 Is he totally match-up proof? 
RB LeSean McCoy Buf 9000 Hitting the elite price range
RB Devonta Freeman Atl 7100 Worried about Coleman
RB DeMarco Murray Ten 7000 Two TDs vultured by Henry last week
RB Latavius Murray Oak 6200 Needs to hold onto the ball
RB Bilal Powell NYJ 6000 Very high volume PPR option with Forte injured
RB Ty Montgomery GB 5900 Will be the hot choice this week. DK moves him to RB
RB Carlos Hyde SF 5800 Faltered last week but always in a good spot
RB Thomas Rawls Sea 5100 O-line could not block for him last week
RB Kenneth Farrow SD 5000 Elite match-up for average RB
RB Mark Ingram NO 4400 Pouting worked for Cooks

Mike Evans tops my WR list again, but he's coming off three straight poor games. I do not see a fourth. Wide receiver ownership should be spread out with plenty of very good options on the board across all price ranges.

WR Mike Evans TB 8500 Big price is a risk with three straight games under 10
WR T.Y. Hilton Ind 7800 Disappointed vs. Min but 23 targets in two games prior
WR Michael Crabtree Oak 6100 Double-digit targets in four of past eight
WR Michael Thomas NO 6000 Ten targets after missing a week
WR Dontrelle Inman SD 6000 Favorable match-up but Rivers spreads the wealth
WR Davante Adams GB 5400 Looking to rebound from two dropped TDs
WR DeAndre Hopkins Hou 5200 Thank you Tom Savage
WR Tyler Lockett Sea 4800 Finally healthy and a great weapon for Wilson
WR Cameron Meredith Chi 4700 Took awhile to develop the rapport with Barkley
WR J.J. Nelson Ari 4400 Taking advantage of drunken Floyd's departure
WR Kenny Stills Mia 3900 Big play guy at low price

Tight end has been an enigma all season. Too many times the expensive guys just did not perform. There always seems to be a min-price player coming through each week. 

TE Greg Olsen Car 5200 Elbow a concern with a weak TE group
TE Jimmy Graham Sea 4500 Big price drop after back-to-back one-catch games
TE Delanie Walker Ten 4300 Attractive price in this spot
TE Cameron Brate TB 3900 Catching everything near him
TE Ryan Griffin Hou 3300 Missed him last week at min price with C.J. out
TE Dion Sims Mia 2600 Near min price with four TDs in past four games

The Patriots are clearly the stand-out defense and if they get ahead early, it could be real trouble. There are several other high potential defenses at a discount if you do not trust the Patriots.

DST Patriots NE 3600 Score depends only on how interested NE is
DST Titans Ten 3400 Sacks and turnovers
DST Chargers SD 3400 Continuing with defenses against Cle theme
DST Bengals Cin 3200 Not completely buying the Savage hype
DST Dolphins Mia 3000 Playing at a very high level
DST 49ers SF 2800 Ultimate punt against the Rams

Here is my planned GPP lineup, led by the two Bucs main men. 

QB Jameis Winston TB 6500
RB Bilal Powell NYJ 6000
RB DeMarco Murray Ten 7000
WR Mike Evans TB 8500
WR Tyler Lockett Sea 4800
WR DeAndre Hopkins Hou 5200
WR Michael Thomas NO 6000
TE Dion Sims Mia 2600
DST Chargers SD 3400

In Week 13, we have one of the most productive QB/RB pairs in Marcus Mariota and DeMarco Murray on a bye and then we have the lowly Browns on a bye. Week 12 was a major DFS disaster for Seahawks backers – Wilson, Rawls, Baldwin, Graham – all turkeys. They can’t possibly have been that bad. How can anyone fade the Lions-Saints this week? Their Vegas total of 53.5 is four points higher than any other game. 

You can try to be cute and ride the Kaepernick train, and maybe it will work. Or you can just pay up for a QB that always seems to post numbers that support the price. Brees at home – check. Roethlisberger at home – check.

QB Drew Brees NO 7600 Has to be under consideration every week
QB Ben Roethlisberger Pit 7400 Every week at home
QB Matthew Stafford Det 7000 Game with Saints has highest Vegas total by a lot
QB Russell Wilson Sea 6300 Big bounce back. Under-owned after last debacle
QB Colin Kaepernick SF 6100 Becoming a trendy pick
QB Eli Manning NYG 5900 Cheap price for productive QB
QB Tyrod Taylor Buf 5700 Getting primary deep threat back in form

Try hard to fit either Johnson or Bell into your lineup. The price is steep, but they deliver every week. There are other attractive cheaper options to pair with them.

RB David Johnson Ari 9500 He has been gold, but now must get 30 to earn value
RB Le'Veon Bell Pit 9200 Same as Johnson, but is always in the play
RB LeSean McCoy Buf 7800 Nice discount off Johnson and Bell
RB Jordan Howard Chi 6900 Start the RB against SF - always
RB Mark Ingram NO 6000 Played like his mind was altered after the concussion
RB Theo Riddick Det 5800 Figures to be heavily involved
RB Carlos Hyde SF 5300 Primary offense for SF when healthy
RB Jeremy Hill Cin 4300 Caught plenty of passes with Gio out

Cheaper receivers continue to post useful numbers and there are plenty of receivers in the $4k range to choose from. Sure they all come with risks, like the QB can forget that the receiver plays on the team (see Shepard and Cooks). But that scenario is unlikely.


WR Antonio Brown Pit 9100 Has to be a consideration every week
WR Odell Beckham Jr. NYG 8500 Will be focused on outperforming Brown
WR Michael Thomas NO 6900 Brees' solid primary target
WR Julian Edelman NE 6800 More looks if Gronk is out
WR Davante Adams GB 6300 From the dog house to the Pro Bowl in one season
WR Golden Tate Det 6200 Figures to be right in the middle of highest scoring game
WR Sammy Watkins Buf 5500 He's back and in GPP play
WR Sterling Shepard NYG 4900 Nice when QB apologizes for forgetting about you
WR Tyler Boyd Cin 4800 8-9 targets for under $5k - I am in
WR Marvin Jones Jr. Det 4400 Falling way out of favor but is so darn cheap
WR Anquan Boldin Det 4100 Boldin, Lee, Wilson, Rogers all in play in this price range

My off-season project is to search for a dependable way to project TE usage. There seems to be little rhyme or reason that leads to a tight end posting a zero or being a hero.


TE Jordan Reed Was 6400 Dislike the pick due to injury - was this close to being a dud on turkey day
TE Greg Olsen Car 5100 A nice discount off Reed
TE Eric Ebron Det 3900 These guys do not need much to earn value - but they do tend to disappear
TE Cameron Brate TB 3600 Fitting in nicely as second look for Jameis
TE Vance McDonald SF 2900 Knack for the end zone
TE Ladarius Green Pit 2800 Continues to round into form

There are three defenses that appear to be worth paying for, but on the flip side there are two cheaper options.


DST Broncos Den 3900 Premier matchup against turnover-prone Jax
DST Patriots NE 3700 Pats against a rookie QB
DST Seahawks Sea 3500 Neither team is at Super Bowl level
DST Chargers SD 2900 Been sneaky good all season
DST Dolphins Mia 2600 Getting better every week

Count me among the victims of the Seahawks walking the plank last week. This week I want a piece of the Lions-Saints game, but I am going to lean towards the Lions, who should be lower owned.

QB Matthew Stafford Det 7000
RB David Johnson Ari 9500
RB Theo Riddick Det 5800
WR Michael Thomas NO 6900
WR Golden Tate Det 6200
WR Eli Rogers Pit 3900
DST Chargers SD 2900
TE Vance McDonald SF 2900
WR Tyler Boyd Cin 4800

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