I feel as if I have properly recovered from what was an incredibly exciting Wild Card Weekend. If this week's games are anywhere near as good, I will be overjoyed. With that being said, there are some very interesting matchups about, and DraftKings has some great contests to play. If you feel like shelling out some money, there is still a MillionaireMaker contest bouncing around for $100, but I am liking the Million Dollar Play Action with an entrance fee of just $3.
Start of the Week:
Aaron Rodgers ($6700): While I wouldn’t say that Rodgers was out of this world last week, he certainly was good. I saw a different side to the Pack to the team that got destroyed the last time they played the Cardinals, and I have this sneaky feeling that they will eek out a victory. Rodgers will need to play up to his best in order for Green Bay to win, but with a couple injuries to their secondary, the Cardinals are there for the taking.
Peyton Manning ($6000): We all know this story. Peyton is now looking to show he still has a little left in the tank and getting the Broncos through the AFC would prove just that. Manning has the easiest of all the QB matchups this week, and with the game being at home, that might just make Peyton an above average starter.
Cam Newton ($7500) and Russell Wilson ($6800): I realize how important both of these guys are to their teams’ success, but I just don’t see a high scoring affair. This is a game that will be won by one of the two QBs, but not in a massive numbers sort of way. I see this being a defensive battle all game with one of the two leading their team down the field for a late TD to win. I would stay away from both Russ and Superman this weekend.
Start of the Week:
James White ($5200): White will be the Patriots' primary pass catcher out of the backfield, and that is a very important role in the New England offense. With Steven Jackson ($3300) and Brandon Bolden ($3600) taking carries, White will be limited on the ground, but he will more than make up for that by being targeted by Tom Brady ($7400) on many occasions.
James Starks ($4000): Starks had a big game last week in terms of playoff production, and with Eddie Lacy ($4400) still nursing that rib injury, Starks should see plenty of the field on Saturday. I like Starks for his big play ability. While Lacy is more of a power runner who occasionally breaks one, Starks is the prototypical change of pace type of player who can get to the outside. If that happens against the Cards, you’ll wish that the Packers back was on your team.
Jonathan Stewart ($5800): Read Cam Newton. I don’t like this game for fantasy points, period. Stewart is probably the most consistent choice among the remaining running backs, but I just can’t go against this Seahawks defense.
Start of the Week:
Demaryius Thomas ($7000): Thomas is one of Peyton’s favorite targets and will see plenty of opportunities to break one on short bubble screens and plays designed to get the big man in the open field. I really don’t like the Steelers secondary and think that Thomas will take full advantage on Sunday.
Albert Wilson ($3800): If Jeremy Maclin ($6400) doesn’t play, Wilson becomes the top target. If that is the case, you will see an increase in catches and good fantasy production. At some point, the Chiefs are going to have to open up the playbook a bit against the Pats and Wilson could be a big factor.
Larry Fitzgerald ($6500): The Cardinals have two WRs that are younger and faster than Fitz at this point. As the season wore on, Fitzgerald faded more and more in terms of targets, and with John Brown ($5200) and Malcom Floyd ($5100) lining up alongside him, I just don’t feel as if Fitz will get enough attention to warrant a start, especially at that price.
Start of the Week:
Travis Kelce ($5100): Read Albert Wilson. Regardless of whether Maclin plays, Kelce is a huge part of the offense in Kansas City, and he will benefit from matchups more than their WRs. While the Pats ranked 5th in terms of points given up to opposing TEs this season, the position is weak enough right now that anyone getting the attention that Kelce will get deserves a start.
Heath Miller ($3200): Not a name that I ever expected to write, but Denver's one weakness on defense tends to be the opposing TE. That bodes well for one of Big Ben’s favorite targets, especially with Antonio Brown ($9800) down and out. With Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib locking down the WRs, there should be plenty of targets going Heath’s way on Sunday.
Broncos ($3900): Facing Big Ben with torn ligaments in his shoulder and without Antonio Brown? Yeah, that sounds like an easier matchup than expected for the Broncos, who were already one of the better units statistically all year long.
Chiefs ($4000): Tom Brady. Nuff said.Best of luck this weekend!
Welcome back, and hopefully I can resurrect myself after a midweek performance almost as pitiful as the Swansea defense. I swung and missed on a couple of names and most notably suggested starting a couple players that didn’t even see the pitch. The Premier League can be very fickle, and I unfortunately didn’t have the chance to put in a couple of last minute changes in accordance with the teams fielded. But, we always strive to improve, and Saturday’s slate will start that for me. I am changing the format to be very much straight forward as the other one was slightly confusing.
Jamie Vardy ($7100) Leicester got back to their winning ways this week against Spurs, and with a soft matchup against Aston Villa, I expect Vardy to get back on the scoresheet. This match shouldn’t be close, and I expect that the former non league player will play a huge part in that.
Diego Costa ($6500) Costa is a feast or famine type of fantasy player, as the big Spaniard will certainly commit a couple of fouls a match while only acruing points via scoring goals. Therefore, the Chelsea forward is always a tough choice. However, he looks to be back to the form he showed last season, and that should continue against Everton.
Dmitri Payet ($6700) This lad has shown off great skill and ability on more than one occasion so far this season, and with Newcastle looming there is not a person that should leave out the Frenchman.
Robbie Brady ($5800) The Norwich midfielder is able to get crosses in and provide a good work rate in order to get back and make interceptions and tackles. That is all you can ask for in DFS leagues. With a good matchup against Bournemouth, Brady should once again prove to be a solid return on the investment.
N’Golo Kante ($3200) Another player that gets to go up against Aston Villa, Kante has been quite the find for the joint leaders of the Premier League and should dominate the midfield on Saturday.
Daryl Janmaat ($4000) Janmaat has been given freedom to gallop down the outside and cross the ball in at will. That is something that won’t change no matter what the score is, and a player who gets that many opportunities to cross the ball is always worth a place on your roster.
Ryan Bertrand ($3800) The former Chelsea man is still playing very well for the Saints, and always is part of their attacking intent. That won’t change on Saturday and Bertrand should find himself free down the flanks on multiple occasions, allowing the England U21 to get crosses in and possibly bag an assist.
Welcome to the NFL playoffs! After a season full of craziness, ups and downs and more controversy over playoff format, we finally arrive at the finish line. This weekend proves to be exciting if not a little bit odd. Many of the teams featured have starting QBs with little to no playoff experience (A.J. McCarron, Alex Smith, Brian Hoyer, Teddy Bridgewater and Kirk Cousins) and the other three QBs have won a Super Bowl (Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers), so where does that leave us? We’re left wondering if the upstarts can continue playing impressive football, which big name QB will put up a dud, and who can be relied upon for this week’s DFS.
DraftKings is continuing on their Millionaire Maker tournament with an entry fee of $20, which is what I will be focusing on. Remember, with a tournament like this one, the concept is to not have the same lineup as everyone, and also just to place. The odds of winning are minimal, but just placing can see you win back some good money.
A.J. McCarron ($5200): McCarron will be a favorite pick up amongst DFS players this week. With plenty of targets and a great matchup, I feel confident that the Bengals backup can put up solid numbers at the best price possible.
Russell Wilson ($7000): No doubt the play of the week. Coming off a ridiculous end of season run, and still without Beast Mode, Wilson will be asked to carry the load yet again. That shouldn’t be a problem for a quarterback who really thrives in the postseason.
Ben Roethlisberger ($7200): Don’t get me wrong, I think Big Ben will put up decent numbers. However, with such a small slate of games, the highest priced QB shouldn’t just be putting up decent numbers. The Bengals defense will be amped up to finally break through in the playoffs and will try to put the team on their backs. This is a very good defense that will cause Ben some major issues.
Aaron Rodgers ($6400): How can the third most expensive QB be a sleeper, you ask? Well, Rodgers is coming off one of his worst seasons as a pro, and people seem to have forgotten just how good the Cal alum really is. With a great matchup this week, I say jump aboard the Rodgers train.
This field of RBs is just sad looking. Outside of Adrian Peterson, there isn’t a big name back to be seen, and AP has the Seahawks. This is certainly a punt position for me.
Giovani Bernard ($4000): Bernard is the pass catching back for the Bengals, and that bodes well coming in against the Steelers. Despite the fact that the Steelers were very good defending RBs and TEs this season, I feel that Bernard should thrive. When a backup QB is in, they tend to either go big or check down, meaning there should be plenty of opportunities for Bernard to sneak out the backfield and rack up catches.
Christine Michael ($4400): Michael should carry the load against the Vikings with Marshawn Lynch still out. I don’t really expect this game to be close, leaving Michael with plenty of mop up duty and good yards overall.
Adrian Peterson ($7300): The Seahawks have allowed the least amount of fantasy points to opposing RBs this season. The last matchup against Seattle saw All Day score 6.4 points. None of these are good signs, and AP just isn’t worth the money this week.
None. My two starts should be considered sleepers.
A.J. Green ($7500): Green is my top play at any position this week. I have a feeling that the A.J. to A.J. connection will be strong and with Pittsburgh subpar secondary that can spell a big day for Cincy’s #1 receiver.
Antonio Brown ($9600): Just because I expect Big Ben to struggle a bit does not mean that Antonio Brown isn’t a lock to be on every DFS team. Brown is too good to pass up on, and WR that is targeted as often as he is deserves a spot on any roster.
Doug Baldwin ($6700): If it looks like I am high on the top WRs it’s because I am. Baldwin really emerged at the end of the season, and I really don’t see that slowing down.
Jeremy Maclin ($6400): People have been trying to convince me all week that Maclin is a good play, heck, I’ve tried to convince myself, and I just can’t do it. Houston ranks 7th in the NFL in points allowed to WRs, I don’t trust Alex Smith and I can see this game being a low scoring defensive battle.
Marvin Jones ($3700): Can you tell I am high on the Bengals receivers? I like Jones as a deep play threat to get a couple of chances over the top for big gains. Jones is a boom or bust type of player and as such I am leaving him as a sleeper.
Travis Kelce ($4500): But I just said the KC game would be a low scoring affair!! Yes, I realize the hypocrisy however if there is a TD to be caught on the Chiefs side of the ball it is this man who is going to do it. We all know the stat from last year about KC wideouts not catching a TD, that shows you how much Alex Smith relies on his TEs, and that shouldn’t change this weekend.
Richard Rodgers ($4000): I like Rodgers for a similar reason as Kelce. I like the fact that he is a big Red Zone presence, and the matchup is definitely there this week. Rodgers will certainly get the targets, so the big man is a great value.
Let me call this a fade, as it is not really a bust.
Jordan Reed ($6300): Who is going to be owned more this week. Reed or Antonio Brown?? I would say Reed, everyone and their brother is starting the guy, and as such you should look elsewhere for your Tight End production.
Kyle Rudolph ($3500): Terrible matchup, but one of Teddy Bridgewater’s ($5100) favorite targets. Look for Rudolph to at least get you points in the reception category and be worth the small investment opening up salary room for other players.
Chiefs ($4000): The Chiefs have had an incredible run to finish the season, and it is mainly down to their defense being nothing short of incredible. They get to tee off against Brian Hoyer ($5400) and the subpar Texans offense and should have a field day.
Steelers ($3700): At this point, I think you get the message. I don’t trust, nor do I like the Steeler’s defense.
Packers ($2800): Granted Kirk Cousins ($5900) has been great at home all season, but I just get the feeling that this Packers team has been coasting through the regular season and has that extra gear that nobody saw coming. I also don’t know how well Cousins will hold up in his first ever playoff start so the cheapest DST out there is worth a shot.
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The Premier League is a fickle creature, and this winter festive period can really wreak havoc on teams. With a packed fixture list and injuries mounting, certain teams have come back to earth while others are struggling to stay above water. Without further ado, I will take a look at the goalscorers, assist men, and stoppers to target in today's fixtures.
Sergio Aguero ($8400): The obvious choice here and the PL’s best striker has really found his form again. With Everton next on the slate, look for another couple of goals for the Argentine.
Marko Arnautovic ($4900): Stoke have been brilliant of late, and little Zlatan has been at the center of much of it. The way the Potters move on and off the ball allows Arnautovic to gain points not just by scoring but also by creating assist and cross opportunities. Against Norwich, the Austrian should continue the recent good vein of form.
Aleksandar Kolarov ($5500): Kolarov is so highly priced as a defender for a reason. Regularly storming down the left hand side and taking free kicks allows the City left back to rack up the points. Once again, Everton is not a great defensive club and Kolarov should thrive.
Christian Eriksen ($6900): Targeting players that take free kicks is a must. Eriksen is one of the best in the world at set pieces and as such always has the opportunity to score or assist from one. Against Leicester City, Spurs should see a lot of the ball which will allow Eriksen the freedom to control play and rack up points.
Jesus Montero ($3800): If Montero starts, he is a must play. Sunderland have looked better as of late but are still very shaky at the back. The lightning fast winger will have plenty of chances to get in the box and go past defenders with shots and crosses.
Lukasz Fabianski ($4200): Fabianski has been a solid keeper for Swansea sing coming over from Arsenal, and he will have a cushy matchup against Sunderland. I don’t expect Swansea’s defense to be tested too much, allowing Fabianski to pick up a clean sheet.
Gary Cahill ($2700): Cahill has been average at best this season, but Chelsea has seemingly turned a corner. Worth a goal or two each year, Cahill poses a nice threat from corners. Look for a steady performance at the back with a couple of interceptions as well as a shot or two from corners.
Hey folks, I am still celebrating the Knicks almost winning last night against the Spurs and ruing the fact that Anthony Davis started in many of my DFS leagues. With that being said, let us turn our attention to today's games.
Games to target
Golden State vs. Sacramento (o/u 223.5)
Washington vs. Orlando (o/u 197.5)
John Wall ($8800): The Wizards remain a banged up team, and they remain a team centered around Wall. The matchup against Orlando is a tricky one, meaning there will be more on Wall’s plate. I doubt the former Kentucky star disappoints tonight.
Jimmy Butler ($7900): Jimmy Buckets just plays too many minutes and has too high a usage rate to leave out of your lineup. In what should be a hard fought contest with the Hawks, Butler will be relied upon heavily as a shutdown defender and go to scorer.
Andre Drummond ($9400): Drummond is too reliable to leave out of your lineup. I love players that can get fantasy points without having to score in bunches, and Drummond can do that. Facing the Nets, he should also be relied upon as the go to scorer, and his production level will be high.
Marco Belinelli ($2500): Belinelli has been on a tear of late, and that could continue tonight. Despite the tough matchup, the Kings are going to need to score, so look for them to hoist up plenty of shots. The Italian is worth a nod, especially at that price.
Aaron Gordon ($2200): I have struck out on Gordon a couple times in the past, but in the Magic’s last six games, the forward has played over 20 minutes five times. With regular court time like that and a matchup against the banged up Wizards, Gordon is certainly worth a shot.
Marcus Morris ($5000): All I can ever think of when I see Morris’ name is that he is the perfect filler. Nothing incredible but an all-around solid player that can fill a stat sheet. With a good matchup tonight, look for Morris to flirt with 30 fantasy points, if not more.
Victor Oladipo ($6100): With Elfrid Payton out, Oladipo has assumed more of a prominent role in the Magic offense. That will continue against Washington today, and with extended minutes come more points. I fully expect Oladipo to break 30 if not 35 minutes and average a little over a fantasy point per minute.
That’s all for today, folks. Happy balling.
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